From Vienna, in Eastern Austria, to Nice, in the south of France, with three checkpoints located at the top of three legendary passes and a mandatory final 500 km-route through the Provence: this is the Three Peaks Bike Race. Between the checkpoints, the choice of route is yours, I plotted mine with komoot. The three iconic passes are the Großglockner in Austria, the Col de Sanetsch in Switzerland and Mont Ventoux in France.
After 4 days and 6 hours of racing through the Alps and taking in the stunning scenery, I finished just behind the winner Ulrich Bartholmoes.
In the end, the event stretched over 2,000 km with nearly 28,000 m of elevation gain. Truly, a demanding race that I finished in second place, after an average of 470 km per day.
The start is given in Vienna at 4 p.m. and the 130 riders set off. Carried out half day, half night, the first 350 kilometers are spent on quiet and bucolic country roads.
At daybreak, the big piece looms with the ascent of the Grossglockner at the top of which is the first Checkpoint. With an average…
After a relatively flat section in Tyrol, I begin the ascent of the Fuorn pass in Merano. About halfway through, I cross the Swiss border and find myself in Grisons, one of the most beautiful regions of the country. The craggy alpine landscapes are breathtaking.
I follow almost immediately with the ascent…
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After descending the Sanetsch, I head towards Martigny. The litany of passes is not over since I have to climb the Forclaz to cross into France. When I arrive in Chamonix, night is falling.
It is in the dark that I go to Grenoble before launching my assault on the Hautes Alpes in the early morning. After…
It is very hot when I arrive in Malaucène, at the foot of the Ventoux, the summit of which is the third Checkpoint. Fortunately the climb is gentle and shaded on this side. From the Reynard chalet, the route is no longer free and I must follow the trail provided by the organization to reach Nice.
The highlight of the show for these final kilometers is obviously the Verdon gorges. The imposed loop allows us to take full advantage of it. And the views from the lookouts are breathtaking. A final difficulty arises before reaching the finish: the Col de Saint-Barnabé.
Fortunately, it is an ascent…
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