Sportive Season 2011

I'll spare you the run down, as I've been doing these for quite some time now.  We've competed in sixty-six so far and hope to top out at eighty-two by season end.

In the left panel you can see the years and the races in which we've taken part displayed in chronological order.  On the right the events are broken down by category with my beloved classics at the head of the list closely followed by the UCI Golden Bike Series.

Season 2011
For 2011, after a brief sojourn in to Belgium, we'll be traipsing all around France to compete in the Trophee Passion Championship to see if I can improve on last years championship result. 

In fact our objective this year is to finish as many events as we started, which will make a change!  Dianne broke a collarbone in Belgium in the first race of the year but came back with a win in her return event, the Marc Gomez.  As part of a strong men's team we even managed to grab first place ourselves at the same event!  Then it went downhill big style. 

After a HUGE accident on the descent of the Col du Granier in June's Lyon-Mont Blanc-Lyon sportive, it took three months before I got out again for the last race of the year the Jean Cyril Robin.  It's now seven months later and I'm still not right but don't think I'll get any better, so it's time to get over it, work with what I've got and crack on.

March
Once again the season kicks off in Belgium, with a trip to the glorious Flandrian Ardennes.  It's the Ename Classic on March 19th.  If it's typical Spring Classic weather, hail, rain and wind, it doesn't get any better.  Let's hope for a less exciting start to the season than last year.

April
Once again it's our now traditional visit to the La Coulainiase.  It's relatively local, a great event and it's held at lunchtime!  We've had loads of successes over the past few years with Dianne, Jo and Susan all picking up top three places and trophies in previous editions.  The boys have come close, but no cigar.

Have to miss trying to finish at the Tro Bro Leon this year, as we'll be in Calais for Les Six Bourgeois.  The first round of the Trophee Passion Championship.  Short on details at the moment as this will be the first running of the event.  Still, it's a race in France so it's got to be good.  I expect a load of Brits to turn up; should be a gas.

May
May sees another return to the Ble D'Or at Leves for round two of the Trophee.  It's a great little parcours on the edge of Chartres and is fast and furious.  Last year I managed to pick up a top ten place; okay it was ninth!  Time to see if it was a fluke or not.

Mid May sees a trip to Rennes to see another of Dianne's ex-pro mates, Marc Gomez.  We all picked up trophies last year so it's time to return and defend our honour.

June
June starts with Trophee Passion round three, the Roger Walkowiak in the Bourbonnnaise Mountains.  Should be a good warm up before we hit the double header that's La Sisteronne.  This is Lucien Aimar's and Stephen Roche's multi-day sportive in the heart of Provence.

July
July used to be my month of rest and recuperation, not this year!  It starts with the Coeur Bretagne which has the Tour in the same area at the same weekend.  We then pick up the Trophee again with the Antonin Magne and finish off for a revisit of the Pour La Paix, where I very nearly (I didn't) beat Bernard Hinault a few years back.

August
With La Paix on the last day of July we now have five races in five weeks; all Trophee events, how bizarre.  First up is the Pierre Chany, quickly followed by the Etape Sanfloraine which I've been told by a few riders that have done it before is the fastest they've ever raced.  Should be interesting.

The month is rounded off with trips to the Jean-Francoise Bernard and on the last weekend of the month, the Louis Pasteur.

September
A quick visit home and we'll finish off, probably, with our end of year traditional visit to St Nazaire and the Jean Cyril Robin.  It's such a good way to end a long season.  Great organisation, a fantastic circuit and excellent atmosphere.  

Whatever you choose to do, or wherever you choose to do it, (try something different this year) have a happy, safe and above all an enjoyable 2011 season.  See you on the road somewhere...