La Grand Bo Cyclosportive 2008

Elevation profile la grand bo

My fourth cyclosportive this June (versus only three the previous 42 years).

I don’t think I am getting faster. But at least the pain is less of a surprise.

Starting from the very scenic ski station of Le Grand Bornand, this was a beautiful and challenging 120 kilometre course, with +2700 metres of vertical ascent (+9000 feet).

Martin joined me for this adventure. Barry managed to register but struggled from that point on.

La Grand Bo:  Col de la Colombiere

Four climbs starting with the easier side of Col de la Croix Fry. A nice appetizer.

Then a long pleasant stretch including Col des Fleuries. And then things got hard.

First, a 500 metre climb up to Mont Saxonnex through a stunning gorge on nice shaded roads – but incredibly steep. Then, up Col de la Colombiere (not again!). Ouch those last three kilometres never get easier.

Unfortunately, not many good photos today – I was trying to pedal. So instead, a poorly edited, badly designed video, shoddy camera work and all. Oh, and sorry for saying “tired” so often. 🙂



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Happiest while cycling uphill.


  1. I am filled with envy! What a beautiful ride–you will be totally prepared for the Tour d’Enfer. The cyclosportifs are fun and I am glad that you are taking advantage of them now.

  2. This was the third year we did La Grand Bo. The organisers reversed the route this year, which I think made it quite considerably harder. Also. I’m less fit and a lot heavier than in previous years. The ride is fantastic, although the Colombierre is, as you say, a hell of a climb.


  3. You sure are doing some fantastic rides of late, but I think it would take me about 8-10 hours to finish that course. Am I right that you did it in 5:47?

    I also know what you mean about the pain being less of a surprise….i guess a large part of performing well in these type of rides is mental.

  4. yes that time sounds right. My one complaint in these events is that I descend so slowly that I always pass certain people several times – I am a coward going downhill!

    On the big descent I passed zero people and was passed by roughly 60 – luckily I am not competitive 🙂

  5. Will… great as always. Congrats on the ride… and video. I love the TIRED part… it really gets the viewer on the hills with you. I can relate! I was going to take a little camera with me on the Blood ,Sweat and Gears ride but it wasn’t mine and I was worried I would get it wet. Then, it never rained. Go figure.

  6. Pingback: 2008 Challenge Update : Cycling Challenge

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  8. Hi Will! So, I’m registered for La Grand Bo 2010, and getting a bit… scared! When you did the cyclo in 2008, did it go up Col de Romme before Colombiere? Did they add Romme to the mix?? Won’t this just be a really painful end?? (I’ve never ridden up Col de Romme…) Hope all is well with you!

  9. Hi Abby!

    Wow, yes, the addition of Col de Romme is new – I guess since it was in the Tour de France last year.

    Romme is very, very steep.

    This link has a profile of Colombiere that includes Col de Romme:

    This does make the course much tougher. Best of luck. Enjoy yourself and eat and drink a LOT. 😉

    PS – Not sure, but I thought I saw you descending Colombiere on the holiday Monday several weeks back.

  10. Ah yes, it must have been me!! Can I tell you how *disappointed* I was that the restaurant at the summit was closed?? I had the money in my pocket, pushed on those last 3 interminable kilometers, foolishly thinking I’d be very soon enjoying a well-earned break and some refreshments 🙁 Argh!!

    Yikes, the profile of Col de Romme looks as scary as I thought… I’ll let you know how the cyclo goes! Thanks for the info Will, and pedal on!!

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