144 mountain bikers from Mauritius, Reunion, France, Germany, New Zealand, Namibia and Australia, cycled 200 kilometres around the southern part of the island during three early morning stages at the end of November.
This was the seventh year that the race had been held allowing riders to access private lands and experience amazing views as they climbed and descended the slopes of the wild and open countryside of the south. It was exhausting and hot just watching them!
One of the rules is that competitors must race in teams of two and stay together at all times. Teams can be entered for Mens, Ladies, Mixed, Over 40s and Juniors.
Accommodation was at the 4* Tamassa at Bel Ombre, part of the LUX Group of hotels who made everyone very welcome, particular thanks should go to the restaurant and bar staff who were excellent. Some competitors decided to stay in the tented village; no air con though!
Although this was a competition and everyone wanted to do their best, you could not fail to see the camaraderie between all the participants after the race and during the rest time. One overseas rider thought his race weekend was over after the second day when he broke a wheel on the course. A local Mauritian competitor immediately offered his spare when he found this out later that day. All the bikes needed a good wash and some TLC after the ride.
Many riders brought their families as well and this added to the happy and friendly atmosphere around the start/finish and hotel.
Every night the leaders were given ‘jerseys’ (microfibre thin tops) and medals at prize giving. The team of Julien Absalon (Double Olympic Champion) and Yannick Lincoln were the winners of the Mens competition and completed the course in 8 hours, 31 minutes and 8 seconds at an average speed of 21.1km/hour. They were very fit!
Congratulations to everyone who took part and finished the course and specials thanks to the sponsors and volunteers who made it all happen.
Maybe next year…