Peyragudes Deluxe Cup
On the border between France and Spain, nestled in the Pyrenees is a small ski resort, about 10 kilometers above Lindon. The ski resort is a collection of apartments and hotels with a hand full of restaurants. I believe it has only one lift.
There are a couple of small villages on the way down to Lindon. Lindon is a large town, literally at the end of the line.
The course is the road up to the resort. The start line was at the opposite end of the parking lot from the resort. Not long after the start, where many standup guys stopped kicking was the first hairpin.
Directly below the start line was a hard right turn. In general the speed isn't high enough to make the turn hard, but about a week before the race the road was patched using chip seal, he turn still had lose gravel in it. The road continues round the bend,
with two left hand turns, but the road was so wide it was trivial to take the turns. The speed picks up as you head to the first hard right.
Again the road is wide enough, the turn can be taken full out.
A long straight leads to a hard right hairpin,
where most of the interesting action took place.
A short distance later was the next hairpin.
The road was almost flat at this point you didn't need to slow much, if at all to take the turn. A very short distance later is another hairpin.
Again the speed hasn't built up much. For almost a mile afterwards is a fairly straight road, with a couple of gentle bends.
Building the speed back up again for the final hairpin.
The finish line was just after the exit of this corner.
Tuesday, July 8
The race doesn't start till tomorrow, but we took the overnight train from Paris and arrived in Lindon early in the morning. There was about a dozen of us on the train. The organizer was nice enough to send a couple of cars down to pick us up. After getting settled in and checking out the resort, a few of us decided to walk the road. After checking the road out, we continued on down the road to find some food.
We found a small store and I bought a loaf of bread and some cheese for lunch.
The weather warmed up in the afternoon, and I took a swim in the pool.
Registration was open in the evening.
Although not everyone had arrived yet, there were still plenty of people. But registration was fairly quick. One surprise was the bibs. Our bibs were customized with our names and country flags!
After registration, most people just kind of hung out and chatted. There were a few party rooms, one was Sector 9 HQ
which was next door to my room. Probably because this was the first of three consecutive races in Europe, wheels seem to be the in thing.
I know I had brought more than I usually do.
But wheels were everywhere.
Wednesday, July 9
There was a deal set up to provide 3 free meals. We had received tickets for each meal in our registration packet. The tickets were good for a particular restaurant. Mine were for the downstairs restaurant, which was closest to my room. The restaurant was a bar that was normally closed during the summer.
Breakfast consisted mainly of bread and jam.
After breakfast I gathered my equipment and headed across the parking lot for the start line. We were supposed to start at 9am, but most people were milling around, I wasn't sure when we would actually start. I noticed that two people were suited up and on the line, ready to go.
I started to get suited up when they left just a few minutes after 9. I didn't get dressed in time, but it was good to know that the event started on time. It wasn't too long before other people showed up, ready to go.
The road was fairly fast. The chip seal in the first right was a pain, I kept sliding through the gravel. The course is long, took over 3 minutes to get to the bottom. I was tired when I got to the third of the three hairpins, and still had about 1/3 of the course left! After the first few runs everyone was all smiles.
We got in several good runs, when we broke for lunch. It was nice to walk across the parking lot and up to my hotel room. The weather was nice enough, most people ate outdoors.
The road is pretty long, and takes a while to get down. So we always had some waiting to do.
The weather was pretty warm, and I know some people knocked off early to take a dip in the pool.
As soon as practice was over, I made a run down to Lindon. Turns out there are no ATMs at the resort, so I needed to go into town to find one, as well as hit a store for a few supplies. I borrowed someones van, and drove through some narrow streets. Not exactly what you want to do in a borrowed vehicle.
I made it make up in time for our free dinner. After dinner we all headed down to the tent
to drink beer and attend the riders meeting.
Risch gave away one of his new helmets.
There is some nasty weather forecasted for the weekend. The original schedule was day of practice, followed by two days of half day practice/half day qualifying. I was decided to run all of qualifying tomorrow, and run the standup race on Friday. The luge race would be run on Sat.
Thursday, July 10
Today will be a busy day. Not only would do we have to do tech,
we also need to do both qualifying runs. After a warm up run we did street luge qualifying.
A timing company was used to record the times.
Someone was trying to post the times, so everyone wouldn't be looking over the shoulders of the timers.
Next we did buttboard qualifying.
Then we broke for lunch.
With a large standup field, standup qualifying
would take the rest of the afternoon.
I took the opportunity to visit the vendors in the parking lot.
Several skateboard shops, including Sector 9 had stands set up. On the other side of the parking lot, in the overflow lot you could watch a good portion of the course.
Back at the start line most of the remaining standup riders would watch what portion of the track they could still see.
For some reason several people went down in the straight section of the course, after the chip seal.
Angelina went down and separated her shoulder. The women were the last to qualify.
Qualifying took pretty long and finished up around 7 pm.
After dinner everyone gathered at the tent to check out the times.
There were also a couple of live bands for the evening.
As usual about half the people listened to the band, and half hung around outside and chatted.
Friday, July 11
The plan for today was to practice in the morning and run the standup race after lunch. The morning started off with clear blue skies.
Forecast called for some bad weather though. I got some great runs in, it is too bad that we did qualification yesterday. By lunch time the clouds were starting to roll in over the mountains.
The clouds continued to roll in during lunch. It wasn't raining, but it was getting cooler.
A bunch of started off by watching most of the track from just below the overflow lot.
It was a good spot as we could see most of the course, at least the interesting portion.
As the clouds got lower we made our way down to the first hard hairpin.
It was a good thing, because by the time we got to the hairpin the spot we were sitting was fogged in.
As the race wore on the fog got lower.
It must be pretty thick at the start line (in fact when the final leaves the finish line, they disappear into the fog before reaching the first corner)
The racing continued though.
The fog got even thicker. We could no longer see the next few corners.
The girls raced last. Brianne had a decent lead entering the corner.
I think I got sick on the plane ride over. I started getting a scratchy throat a few days ago, but it really hit me today. I ended up crashing in my hotel room after the races finished. I only woke up because dinner was being served.
After dinner I got roped into doing some work. Karin had written some knew software for IGSA to use, and there was a few problems with the results. She wasn't here to work on it herself. While I was working on the results a live interview was shown on the web.
People gathered outside to watch the interviews.
These interviews can still be seen on you tube. After the interviews were over there was short movie, along with some live action skit down in the tent. Unfortunately I missed it all, as I was still working on making sure the results were correct. We finally got things all squared away close to midnight. Some people were still watch videos and pictures from the afternoon of racing.
Saturday, July 12
I woke up Saturday morning feeling pretty miserable. I looked out of my window.
The fog was pretty thick, and the road was pretty wet.
With some light rain, and dense fog we went into a holding pattern. Ever half hour or so we had a small meeting to decide if we would ride.
The decision was we wouldn't race unless the fog lifted.
I don't know how far down the fog went, but the worry was because of the dense fog, if someone went off the road we wouldn't know where. We ended up spending a lot of time in the restaurant, as it was one of the larger dry rooms around.
We had access to wi-fi, and we watched some videos. We hung out here until about 2pm when it was decided to cancel the race. In addition we would have an early prize giving. There was a recommendation for people to leave tonight, because the road would be closed by 10 am tomorrow, to accommodate the Tour de France!
We held the prize giving in the tent.
The parking lot is on a slight incline, and with the pouring rain the water was running through the tent.
There were quite a few awards given out, as National awards were also awarded.
Davies, Luginbühl, Gemperle
Tournisac, Blottier, Lebarthe
Torunisac, Lebarthe, Lacey
Reimer, Smith, Siegrist
As soon as the awards were wrapped up most people started to take off.
The majority of the people took off, since tonights party was cancelled and the road would be closed tomorrow.
There weren't too many people left. We amused ourselves by checking out emails
and having our own small party with the left over beer.
At one point someone brought up an interesting video, and pretty much everyone who was left cam crowding over to watch.
We found other things to amuse ourselves. Some sort of chair race broke out,
and Marcus flipped some tricks on one of the prop skateboards.
Sunday, July 13
The road down the mountain was going to be closed at 10am, so by the time I woke up and checked out, pretty much everyone had left. On top of that it was Sunday so the restaurants were closed. The resort itself was pretty empty. Our train doesn't leave till 9pm, so we had the day to blow.
Marcus and I walked down to watch the Tour de France.
This is something that I've always wanted to do, but was generally just too far away. This time it was a 5K walk from my hotel! Preceding the race is a caravan of promotional vehicles.
It took about an hour for those to go by, and then a couple hours later the bikes came by.
There was a break away and the peleton had split into two.
It was pretty exciting, and even better that it was just a short walk away.
When we got back to the resort, a few guys were doing slalom, while a few of the course workers were riding the road.
Peyragudes was a really well run race that start pretty much on time. The biggest problem was with the weather, but there isn't much that can be done about that. Having the resort right on the start line was also nice. Unfortunately the campground was spread out over several overflow parking lots.
We had several people separate their shoulders. I think one person ended up with a broken arm, or severely strained.