May... a month of fighters!

Text: Ivan
Photos & quotes: Manu, Alex, Stéphane, Sandy, Mylène & Matthieu

When Friday evenings approach, most mortals think about the sun, some good barbecue, picnic or any indulging moment to relax from busy work days...

That’s of course not the case of our tame members who not only ride daily to work, but also use their free time to achieve racing goals and new achievements. For some it’s triathlons, for others cycling as many kms as possible and a few make themselves, literally, as strong as Ironmen/women!

May 2017 - MC Bike2Work

During May, and I would say, with the same bravery as their pro Giro counterparts, our riders took on several challenges in this pre-summer month. The Vencoise race, the Half Ironman Aix, Corsica, Italy and one very famous climb were some of the highlights some of our racers managed to conquer. But, let’s hear from the protagonists themselves!

Climbing the Col de l’Ecre with Pierre Olivier was a lot of fun, unfortunately Jean-Pierre did manage to follow us. On the other hand, I didn’t count with the Col de Catellares, so I wasn’t mentally ready but finally managed thanks to Jean-Pierre who caught up with me.

[...] I felt generally great during the 105 km race and it was all pleasure!
— Emmanuel

See Manu's ride here!

May 2017 - MC Bike2Work
Steady, ready… GO! It went off really hard and I tried to join the “good” pack to ride with… first Col de Vence, direction Cipières, climb to Gourdon, and climb again to Col de l’Ecre… so hard so hard, in the end the legs had lost me. [...] +2000m in just the first 58km... [of 150km]

The grupetto managed to get on and work together just until the Col de Blène where… we all just cracked and almost couldn’t go on.

Back in Vence we had food and we ended one amazing sportive!
— Alexandre

See Alex's ride here!

May 2017 - MC Bike2Work

As already said, it was also a month of strength in every form of the word, with our Iron rider Stephane who is already a long time Iron Man, he did the Ironman Nice back in 2016 and tackled this time around, the Half Ironman in Aix.

May 2017 - MC Bike2Work
May 2017 - MC Bike2Work

Last but not least, some of our members travelled a bit further to some exquisite cycling destinations not far from our already great Cote d’Azur. Some members went even more south than we already are… they went to the beautiful Corsica and judging from their photos, it was well worth it, bravo Mylène and Sandy for those beautiful rides and making us all jealous!

May 2017 - MC Bike2Work
For me the best was the first route between Calvi and Galeria.
Each corner had a completely new scenery.
— Sandy
May 2017 - MC Bike2Work
The best moment for me was when we arrived to the Col de Palmarella, leaving the mountain behind us and in front of us,
the sea, an amazing sight!
— Mylène
May 2017 - MC Bike2Work

Both had visited Corsica already but cycling gave them a totally new perspective, we really recommend this tour to everyone!

Since May sets the starting point of the Grand Tours, myself I did a few "giros" in Italy and even had the chance to see the pros battling a climb at the same speed we do... flat roads...

Italy Copyright Ivan Blanco
Giro 100 2017 - Copyright Ivan Blanco Vilar


We also had Matthieu going for a climb made famous because Froome decided to start there a new running “career”...:  

With my in-laws living in Carpentras, at the foot of the Mont Ventoux, I just couldn’t resist the opportunity to escape and climb this famous landmark.

On May 28, conditions were just perfect to challenge my MC Bike2Work mates by setting our association’s reference time on Strava.
— Matthieu

See his ride here and suffering face below :)

MC Bike2Work

With no need to emulate all these feats, we hope these stories inspired you to go out and ride your own challenges. Please let us hear about them in the comments and don’t forget, pedal hard and pedal safe!


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Like the Pros: MC Bike2Work at the Paris-Nice Challenge!

Words & photos: 
Ivan, Romain & William

Spring is here and the new cycling season is gearing up strongly!

With the Belgian classics approaching on the horizon, we were lucky to have already two major cycling events right at our feet, the Classicissima Milan-Sanremo with a nail-biting final sprint and the 75th edition of the Paris-Nice.

What else can a keen cyclist ask for? Well… ride like a pro!

Since last year, the sportive Paris-Nice Challenge is celebrated just one day before the final Stage of the Pros’ competition. The proposed parkour, short of just a few kms, is almost identical to the Pros’ one and gives the chance to passionate amateur riders to feel for a few hours, like Pro; same starting grid, Mavic neutral support, feeding stations, mechanics for quick bike fitting, photographers along the route and a finisher’s medal to jump-start your cycling weekend in the best way possible.

Some of our members took part in this exciting challenge, choosing all the 110 km option (a shorter 80 km was available too) and share here with us their impressions.

My first ever sportive, my first ever pelotons: it’s fast fast and elbows are needed!
— William

Victory! - William

I’ve found the parkour was amazing, even the highway RN202 where I’ve ridden for the first time ever in a Peloton!

In addition, we had the perfect sunny day… in fact, as we usually do.
— Romain

Thumbs up! - Romain

The Paris-Nice Challenge will always be a special sportive for me, they started organizing it last year and it was my first ever cycling race! Therefore, I couldn’t miss this opportunity to ride it again. Plus, now I knew how to attack my achilles heel: the Grave de Peille climb!
— Ivan
[The Challenge] also gave me the opportunity to discover Peille, which after 80 km, I’ve must admit, made me suffer. But still very enjoyable however. I did feel the same suffering again the next day, when I saw Contador climbing it out of the saddle in half of my time!!!
— Romain

Big 'thumbs up' to Will and Rom :)

This year I was lucky to have won my inscription thanks to Mavic, who gave us a cycling kit, opportunity to ride their bikes and share the race with their Ambassadors. However, with our association’s cycling kits, it was easy to spot my fellow commuters and I couldn’t miss the chance of a selfie! The sportive itself was very fast at the beginning on the flat and the first climb, descending… my favourites, were pretty fast too. Knowing about the terrible Grave de Peille, I managed to balance my strengths.
— Ivan

Yup, the one on the left is exPro Fränk Schleck!

The Nice-Monaco commutes are quite a good workout for any cycling race in Nice’s hinterland, the legs have managed to overcome the 110 km and 1775 m elevation gain. I’ve loved the descent via Peille’s canyons where I was almost on my own!
— William

What a challenge and what a pleasure to hear it from the actors themselves, if you want to give our brave members some appreciation, head over to their Strava accounts and give them some kudos for their effort: here’s Romain, here William and here Ivan.


Stay tuned for more stories and adventures!

Within our association’s goals, we are gathering our members around a cycling event or activity each month to both test our daily commute training for longer efforts and especially, to enjoy the one passion that we all share: cycling!

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See you soon and safe riding!