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Old 11.05.2015, 11:32
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Cyclotour du Leman 2015 - seeking advice

Can anyone with experience of the Cyclotour please give me a few pointers. This year's edition takes place on 24th May and I'm feeling under prepared.

I was feeling ambitious, so I signed up for the Lausanne - Lausanne ride. I've never done a sportive or in fact any kind of organised mass ride before so I'm not quite sure what to expect.

I'm generally quite fit, and I've been training on my bike over the last couple of months, but I'm not a hardcore cyclist and my bike is over 20 years old. I'm aiming for under 7 hours.

1. What do the refreshment stands en route provide?
2. And so, what should I take in the way of bidons, food, energy gels etc?
3. My French is fairly terrible. Are there any words or phrases that would be helpful in communicating with other riders, especially if I'm trying to ride in a group with them?
4. Any other tips?
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Old 11.05.2015, 11:41
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Re: Cyclotour du Leman 2015 - seeking advice

My advice based on doing stupid stuff:
1) Pack what you want to eat - a decent sized saddle bag should do it. The migros bakery section has individually packed nusstorte, birnenbrot etc which all pack the calories in and are fairly easy to digest. I know someone who would carry jam sandwiches!

2) Don't try and go 7 hours on gels and isotonic - you'll end up needing to do a "paula" and awful stomach cramps. I'd go for 2 bottles - 1 water, 1 isotonic.

3) After 3-4 hours caffeine is helpful.

4) A sandwich of white bread with a simple cheese (emmenthaler) and cooked ham is a good "known" food for your stomach to digest

5) Coke and Pretzal sticks are a good food combination.

6) Eat regularly - if you are feeling hungry you didn't eat enough an hour or 2 before you felt hungry.

7) The one "food" I have found that goes down easily is nougat - Decathlon in France sells packs of individual bars.

8) Don't try any "new" foods on race day.

9) Don't overeat at breakfast. It is better to east 600-700cals (2 toasted bagels with butter and honey) and then eat 100cal every 45mins then to go for 1,000cals at breakfast
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Old 11.05.2015, 11:43
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Re: Cyclotour du Leman 2015 - seeking advice

Not sure about the cyclo tour. But there's one the following week, 31st May called Bike the Lake (group on Facebook). A lot of good info on there including rest stops, support vehicles and refreshments. And it's in English. If you just want to go around the lake maybe that one would suit? It starts/stops at Nyon.
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Old 11.05.2015, 11:50
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Re: Cyclotour du Leman 2015 - seeking advice

Most helpful dodgyken, thank you. A cheese sandwich stuffed into the back pocket is my usual long ride pick me up, although I prefer a gruyere filling. I'll experiment a little with the other things you mention before race day.

John_H - thanks for the info, but unfortunately I have visitors on that date. I'm fully committed to the earlier one now.
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Old 18.05.2015, 15:01
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Re: Cyclotour du Leman 2015 - seeking advice

Hello Leonr23

I did the cyclotour last year and will do it again this time.

Your questions:

1. What do the refreshment stands en route provide? Cereal bars, fruit, water and fruit juice. They're quite good and I think there are 4-5 food stations scattered around the route.
2. And so, what should I take in the way of bidons, food, energy gels etc?
Take 2 bidons, maybe use energy powder in one. You can refill at the food stops. Take on some food every hour even if you don't feel like it.
3. My French is fairly terrible. Are there any words or phrases that would be helpful in communicating with other riders, especially if I'm trying to ride in a group with them? The groups tend to go quite fast, there are guides on the internet showing you the most important hand signals - have a look at them.
4. Any other tips?
Don't wait around to long at the food stops, try and keep moving. Keep an eye out on the roads on the French part of the route - they're a bit pot-holey.

Ride safe and enjoy it.
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Old 19.05.2015, 20:29
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Re: Cyclotour du Leman 2015 - seeking advice

Hi Dix, many thanks for your info, and good luck with the ride. This is exactly what I wanted to hear, saves filling my pockets with cereal bars.

I'm very much looking forward to the ride. Feeling a bit under-prepared, but I'm sure my legs will get me round. Current forecast is dry, if not sunny, but a little windy, depending on which site you believe.

If you see a beardy chap with an ill-fitting helmet on a purple and red Allegro, come and say hi.
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Old 21.05.2015, 15:35
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Re: Cyclotour du Leman 2015 - seeking advice

Hi Leonr23

I'd still take a few energy bars with you. It's always better to bring something back than to suffer the dreaded 'bonk'.

I'll keep an eye out for you I'll be on a black Canyon (branded Ultimate) with a black and green helmet.
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