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Legendary 610Km race route returns this time as an "ultra cycling challenge"...

If you're into long-distance riding such as audaxes and want to push yourself further, here's an event that will also allow you to follow in the tracks of cycling greats such as Tom Simpson and Jacques Anquetil - Bordeaux-Paris, until the late 1980s one of the ultimate endurance tests in the sport, has been revived as an "ultra cycling challenge" and you can give it a go. You might want to start training now though…

Covering 610 kilometres, the ride, which starts at 6am on 31 May 2014, isn't one for the fainthearted. It will take participants from the Place des Quinconces in Bordeaux to France's new national velodrome at St Quentin en Yvelines on the outskirts of Paris, with around  4,000 metres of climbing along the way.

And unlike pro riders for much of the race's history, including Anquetil and Simpson when they recorded their victories in the 1960s, you won't have the benefit of being motopaced by a derny for the final 300 kilometres or so.

There are three different types of entry. The Ultra Rando costs €180 and has to be completed in a time between 28 and 60 hours, while the Ultra Raid, which costs €230 and commits you to finish in a time of less than 32 hours.

Then there's the Ultra 2, costing €280 and is a two-person relay with the first leg covering 312km to Martizay, where the second rider takes over for the remaining 298km.

Along the route, there will be seven "relay points", roughly every 90 kilometres or so, with food and drink, medical assistance and, at the last five locations, osteopaths and physiotherapists.

The minimum age to take part is 18 years, and riders are required to supply sufficient food and drink to get through the opening 100 kilometres, front and rear lights, a reflective vest for night-time visibility and cycle helmet.

Bordeaux Paris from Extra l'Agence on Vimeo.

By late January some 750 riders had signed up; according to organisers, 85 per cent of those were from France, with 2 per cent from the UK, the average age is 50, and men outnumber women by a factor of 24 to 1.

Gilbert Duclos-Lasalle, winner and twice runner-up of the race, which was founded in 1891 - the first winner was a Briton, George Pilkington Mills - has been signed up as the event's patron.

The former pro, who also won Paris-Roubaix twice as well as Paris-Nice, among 56 victories, said: "While we tend to shorten race distances by limiting them to 200 km per day on average, Bordeaux-Paris is unique with its 600km in one day."

Likening the event to the Monuments of the sport such as Milan-San Remo - at 298km, the longest one-day race on the WorldTour calendar - he added: "200 km of training in the legs will not be enough to suck it up."

You can find full information about the event on its website and there is also a short promotional video you can watch below.

www.bordeauxparis.com

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

16 comments

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Scoob_84 [387 posts] 3 years ago
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Any cycling distance above 300km becomes a meaningless number that's too large for my tiny brain to compute. When reading this article I actually started to think I should sign up for this event. Then I figured out this is 4 times longer than my longest ride which left me with all sorts of niggles and aches on bits of my body which don't normally get niggles and aches from riding my bike.

Maybe next year  105

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jarredscycling [456 posts] 3 years ago
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Scoob_84 wrote:

Any cycling distance above 300km becomes a meaningless number that's too large for my tiny brain to compute. When reading this article I actually started to think I should sign up for this event. Then I figured out this is 4 times longer than my longest ride which left me with all sorts of niggles and aches on bits of my body which don't normally get niggles and aches from riding my bike.

Maybe next year  105

Oh it takes 300km? For me its more like 150 anything longer is just silly

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Nick T [1046 posts] 3 years ago
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Would this count towards your qualifying for the Paris-Brest?

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Notsofast [134 posts] 3 years ago
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Thought we were mad doing 330km in a day, this is just mental.
(Added to bucket list)

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marcusjb [13 posts] 3 years ago
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Nick T wrote:

Would this count towards your qualifying for the Paris-Brest?

It doesn't appear to be ACP-sanctioned, so no, afraid not.

There are no qualifiers in 2014 for PBP - but if you ride a BRM event in the 2014 season you can pre-register early for PBP, starting with those who have ridden a 1000km+ event, then 600km etc. etc.

You still then have to ride your qualifying SR in 2015 ready for PBP.

Does look a great ride though! Not for me this year, but it is on 'the list' for sure!

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Rupert [191 posts] 3 years ago
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This is the Classic event that we should all do at least one time in our lives.

Only 379 miles, which means your minimum average speed must be 12mph if you are going to beat the ultra raid time limit.

Men out numbering the women by 24 - 1 that's not good, come on ladies this is an event you will have an advantage over the men. I am sure I have read somewhere that women do better at ultra distances compared to men.

I predict numbers of Uk cyclist attempting this event are about to grow.

By the way that George Pilkington Mills was quite a character it seems http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Pilkington_Mills not sure he will be much use as a patron though  21 or did I read that wrong  7

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Potiriadis [14 posts] 3 years ago
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I signed up for this in November last year as after completing a Paris Geneva charity ride my mate said we should attempt something where there is a decent chance of failure. Seemed like a good idea at the time and I'm sure the logic was impeccable.

Now I'm bricking myself and wandering at the wisdom of having committed to fundraising for the Children's Trust for the event. Now we are raising money for terminally ill children I can't back out. If anyone is feeling randomly generous and flush after pay day our fundraising page is:

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/BordeauxParis

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G-bitch [325 posts] 3 years ago
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This is quite a gentle introduction to long distance - 60 hours is a massively generous time limit, and 4000 metres in over 600km is probably about as flat a ride as you can get outside the low countries.

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andybwhite [250 posts] 3 years ago
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Nick T wrote:

Would this count towards your qualifying for the Paris-Brest?

Only if you got under 40hours and you got a 'proof of passage' from every ATM en-route  3
But really, its only 600km and there are literally hundreds of UK Audaxers that could manage that - the problem is the cost. There's several UK based 600km events for a fraction of this price. Look out for the revived Windsor-Chester-Windsor this August - an iconic event in the past.

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andyp [1489 posts] 3 years ago
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Sounds brilliant!

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Nick T [1046 posts] 3 years ago
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How about some alternatives eh.

http://www.aukweb.net/events/?From=04%2F02%2F2014&To=12&Days=&Category=&...

Bargain. Even the 75 quid one.

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sponican [94 posts] 3 years ago
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Nick T wrote:

How about some alternatives eh.

http://www.aukweb.net/events/?From=04%2F02%2F2014&To=12&Days=&Category=&...

Bargain. Even the 75 quid one.

Indeed. I did the Brimstone 600 last year. Had twice as much climbing for only a tenner.

Suggest changing the opening words to "If you're into long-distance riding such as audaxes and want to do something less challenging for much more money"

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MCLK [93 posts] 3 years ago
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G-bitch wrote:

This is quite a gentle introduction to long distance - 60 hours is a massively generous time limit, and 4000 metres in over 600km is probably about as flat a ride as you can get outside the low countries.

Agreed. 4000 metres in 200km is pretty tough but spread out over 600 should make for an easy ride, especially with a 60 hour limit.

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LWaB [58 posts] 3 years ago
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Several FFCT-affiliated groups run Bordeaux Paris brevets, generally every couple of years. The randonnee has a ciclotouriste option that has a similar time limit. The UAF Audax version is also good fun.

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andyp [1489 posts] 3 years ago
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'How about some alternatives eh.

http://www.aukweb.net/events/?From=04%2F02%2F2014&To=12&Days=&Category=&...

Bargain. Even the 75 quid one. '

Hmm. let me think. Mytholmroyd or Bordeaux. Tough one  3

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farsley39 [3 posts] 2 years ago
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Hi. I am thinking of signing up for this in 2015. Wondered if you did it this year and any advice you might have. How does all the logistics work, for example?
Thanks.