Thursday, 7 August 2008
Wanna do La Vaujany ?
The Vaujany Cyclosportive is the first event in the week-long series known as the Trophee de l'Oisans. It takes place on the Sunday before La Marmotte (usually at the end of June).
It is a lower key event than La Marmotte and tends to get a little overlooked, and also underestimated.
At 173km and 3,800m climbing, including a passage along Alpe d'Huez and a summit finish at Vaujany ski station, this is not an easy event.
There is a shorter route that alot of people ride - about 109km. You can change your mind about which route to take during the ride.
The field is around 700 riders, with a large proportion of the riders being French. This is in contrast to La Marmotte where a good 70% of the riders are from outside of France.
This is another event that has very few flat sections. It's mainly either up or down. The toughest part of the course is the stretch from Allemont through Villard Reculas, up to Alpe d'Huez and across to the col de Sarenne. It's pretty much 15 miles of climbing.
The descent from col de Sarenne doesn't give much respite as this is quite technical and very bumpy, along a stony road with cobbled drainage gulleys running across the width of the road.
The summit finish up to Vaujany may be only 3 miles long, but it's significantly steeper than the climb up to Alpe d'Huez.
Probably because of the relatively small numbers that take part in this cyclosportive there is a very local feel and a more personal dimension to it than the large cyclosportive events. Some people prefer the Vaujany to La Marmotte for that reason.
Nevertheless, at the finish line there is still the same amount of fanfare as in La Marmotte - a stage with compere presenting prizes, music, tables set out for a post race meal etc.
Like La Marmotte, this event will take entries in advance (via the Sportcommunication website). It may be possible to enter the day before as well, though check on the website.
This is a good event for finding your climbing legs - as long as you take it easy during the ride (or do the shorter distance) you should be still ok to do the big one the following Saturday if you so wish.
Also, by doing La Vaujany and La Marmotte you end up doing the main climbs in the area. You will definitely know those hills !
For 2011 this event will take place on 26th June at 6.00am. Start is from the hydroelectric dam at Le Verney (about 5 miles west of Le Bourg d'Oisans).