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Hi folks, 

I’m doing the Marmotte in a few weeks. Just after a bit advice from anyone who has done it in recent years. 

Can’t find much about the aid stations..are they plentyful?  Do I need to take any nutrition? Hydration tablets?

and, can you cycle back down Alpe d’Huez after you’ve finished? (Assuming I cross the finish line before the roads reopen   1

Thanks

8 comments

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fenix [1195 posts] 1 month ago
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Mate did it last year. He'd done the Ride London in under 5 hours and upped his training for the Marmotte but the Alpe really took it out of him. I doubt you can ride down it with people still coming up for hours.

There is a back way off the Alpe. Unguarded drops and gravel - it's a fun descent.

If I was you I'd be as self sufficient as possible so you have your favourite nutrition and then just need to stop for liquids. Be prepared for all weather conditions. It was cold at the start and then baking hot. And they ran out of medals. He wasn't impressed.
Good luck !

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fenix [1195 posts] 1 month ago
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Mate did it last year. He'd done the Ride London in under 5 hours and upped his training for the Marmotte but the Alpe really took it out of him. I doubt you can ride down it with people still coming up for hours.

There is a back way off the Alpe. Unguarded drops and gravel - it's a fun descent.

If I was you I'd be as self sufficient as possible so you have your favourite nutrition and then just need to stop for liquids. Be prepared for all weather conditions. It was cold at the start and then baking hot. And they ran out of medals. He wasn't impressed.
Good luck !

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rutland [6 posts] 1 month ago
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I did it in 2014.  I took a few gels and bar with me, but the feed stations were excellent - there was one at the top of the Glandon, another near Valloire (between the top of the Telegraphe and start of the Galibier), one perched right at the top of the Galibier and another at Bourg d'Oisans before Alpe d'Huez.  There were also couple of ad hoc drinks stations as well - one on the Telegraphe  and one part way up Alpe d'Huez.  Police / marshals let us cycle back down Alpe d’Huez no problem - they just held people for a while and let riders cycle back down in waves.  It was a great day - enjoy it!

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CXR94Di2 [2625 posts] 1 month ago
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Ive attempted the route, outside the event.  I failed at the Alpe D Huez- due to gastric issues.  The Glandon, take it easy, because you have the Telegraphe followed by the Galibier- gawd the Galibier went on forever. 

The descents are very long and can be hard on the hands for all the braking.  There are flat sections between the bottom of Glandon and the Telegraphe and the bottom of Galibier and the final climb the Alpe D Huez.

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peted76 [1457 posts] 1 month ago
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I did it a few years ago.. food stops were welcomed a bit too much by me and my lot.. we ended up eating far too much brie and baguette at one I remember... 

Hydration tablets are something I should have taken with me, water is plentiful, you might even want to stop at a mountain stream and fill up, do take some hydration tabs with you, it's a very long, sweaty day out.

Yes you can cycle down Alpe d'Huez after you finish. 

Saw some right sights on that ride.. one bloke had a whole top tube full of gels. It's a big day out for sure, but it doesn't mean common sense should go out the window.  (That wasn't you was it CXR94Di2 was it with your gastric issues?) I don't think I used all the gels I took, better to eat real food.

 

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srchar [1405 posts] 1 month ago
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I did it last year. I think your experience will depend on the weather. My Garmin read 40C as I arrived at the foot of the Alpe and it was a very tough climb.  You can ride back down it after finishing.

The feeding stations were all well-stocked and well-staffed; I took a few rice balls but didn't really need to. Be aware that the "Valloire" feeding station between Telegraphe and Galibier is actually a few km further than the town - I had a minor panic, thinking I'd missed it.

Don't overdo it on the long drag between Glandon and Telegraphe. I found myself wanting to "get this bit over with" (it's not particularly scenic) and had to really tell myself to take it easy. It's quite a mentally-challenging ride. I wasn't that far off parking the bike at the foot of Alpe d'Huez, but had a word with myself and got on with it.

The descents are long, very long. I had two friends experience mechanical issues due to heat build up. One had the rim of his carbon wheels fold in, luckily while not going too fast. He kept control, but his ride was over and the wait for the broom wagon was long and boring. Another had two latex inner tubes blow out. Admittedly, they were both on carbon clinchers (with me on tubs) but I don't have either of them down as habitual brake-draggers, so make sure you're mindful of your braking technique as you descend.

CXR94Di2 wrote:

Ive attempted the route, outside the event.  I failed at the Alpe D Huez- due to gastric issues.

Interesting... I had an "extended comfort break" in the bushes by hairpin 3. It's a long day out and I don't think anyone really plans such breaks in!

Enjoy the ride Nigel.

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ChasM [9 posts] 1 month ago
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I did it last year. Three well-stocked feed stations at top of Glandon, just after Valloire (a bit further on than the map suggested, which in my withered state was rather worrying), and at bottom of Alpe D'Huez. Water station at bottom of Telegraphe.

I didn't bother with hydration tabs but take what suits you. There are energy drinks at the feed stations. And cola-flavoured Etixx gels. I ate a lot of those.

I probably carried too much food with me from the start, but it was nice to have something to eat at the top of Galibier.

You're fine to cycle back down the Alpe D'Huez after you finish. As you might be aware it's not entirely closed roads - certainly the valley floor between Glandon and Telegraphe is open, as was the descent of the Galibier when I did it.

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Nigel_C [4 posts] 1 month ago
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Many thanks for all your help and taking to the time to reply. This is most helpful.
I've just about had enough of hill reps in training and realise nothing can legislate for the the weather on the day or how I'll feel. Really nervous about the whole thing at the moment but got a week before in Valloire to get a good recce in.