Europe's Toughest One-day Sportive?

It's called 'La Marmotte' and it's often described as 'the toughest one-day sportive in Europe'.  

Tempting.  I had to give it a go.

The description is probably hyperbole - please feel free to add alternative suggestions to the comments - but I suspect it will feel like the toughest when I roll across the start line on Saturday.  

I might not even make it to the finish!

(Read my post race entry and subsequent advice for riding La Marmotte article)

It's 174km (108 miles) but it's not the distance that makes it tough, it's the cumulative ascent of 5,180m (16,990t).  Take a look at the route profile below.  

The Raid Pyrenean was my first big cycle challenge of the year, for which I'd trained since last August.  This event is the second and final big challenge, and I'm hoping the Raid was good preparation.  I've only done a few short rides since I finished that ride because I felt I needed to recover.

Too late to dwell on such matters now!

This morning I'll be struggling into Edinburgh Airport with my bike box and kit bag, climbing onto EasyJet to Geneva, then somehow getting everything into a bus to Alpe d'Huez.

I'm travelling with Sports Tours International.  They're absolutely not the 'luxury' end of the market, so I'll be interested to discover what level of service they provide.  

Wish me luck.  I'm SO going to need it...

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