Morzine Grandfondo 2017

Today saw the annual return of the Morzine Sportive in it’s 14th edition.  Comprising of 2 circuits, the Mediofondo of 105km with 2370m D+ and the Grandfondo, 155kmand 3800m D+, it attracts cyclists from all over and Alex of Team Yellovelo enters for the 8th time. It would have been the 14th if it wasn’t for a few seasons working abroad or off on his holibobs!

It is a meaty day on the bike, especially if you are completing the Grandfondo. Starting from Morzine and heading to Montriond for the first climb of the day up the Col de la Joux-Verte, descending back to Morzine for the journey down the valley, through Saint Jean d’Aulps to the second climb up the Col du Corbier. Col du Grand Taillet follows and heading over to the Vallée Verte up to La Vernaz and Vailly followed by Col de Jambaz and then some valley floor riding straight through to the legendary and killer Col de Joux Plane. With Morzine back in sight, it’s a gruelling last hike up to Lac de Montriond, through to the finish line and to the pasta party!

What can you compare the Morzine sportive to? Well, if you are familiar with the ultimate Alpine challenge such as the Marmotte, then you only have to look just a level down from the intensity of the Marmotte and you will find that the Morzine falls into the same category as the Maratona De Dolomites, L’Ariegeoise (Pyrenees) and the Serre Che.  Not bad huh! If the Criterium du Dauphiné is the last tune up for the Tour De France, then the Morzine Granfondo is the tune up to the Marmotte.  It’s a right of passage!

So, what about the Mediofondo? An opportunity for novice riders to get some experience and try it out for the first time, understandable but what if you are a seasoned rider and quite up for a Grandfondo sportive and more, then why bother? Well, it can be more intense for starters. It is a chance to really push hard, work your wattage up higher than pacing the Grandfondo and belt around the course. It’s the difference between a sprint and a marathon! It makes a change from always doing the same event at the same pace, it’s good for training and moving on to riding longer at this level but let’s face it, at the end of the day, you finish in time for brunch and it’s just that little bit more fun cause you don’t have to hold anything back!

Yellovelo’s Alex was well up for some fun and so it was Mediofondo all the way today. Upon descending La Vernaz, Alex bumped into a very sportive seasoned pal, which was a recipe for mischief! Spicing things up  even more as the two rivals rode side by side, pushing each other to their limits and getting some great results and making it highly entertaining for them both. When met at the finish line and asked how it went, they were laughing like a pair of school boys! What a great day out! Thumbs up for the Mediofondo!

Written by

Fleur Sant June 2017

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