Unlike last year, the weather forecast for August 28 in Vaujany is good. Last year the organization had to shorten the course due to very bad weather conditions. Given our experiences in Tour des Stations, we are very happy with the weather. Luckily we have chosen for GFNY Alpes Vaujany, because other gran fondos of this weekend (including the Ötztaler) have bad weather conditions.
The start will be at 8 o'clock, all in all a reasonable hour for a gran fondo. Since we are also participating in La Marmotte next Saturday, we have chosen to stay on top of Alpe d'Huez. This choice was made mainly because we don't want to / can take Marie, Michiel's 10-month-old daughter, with us in the car for the entire Marmotte. While Michiel and Dirk (and myself with the car) are on the road for a long morning, Marie can still sleep peacefully and then watch the arrival.
The first supply is planned at the junction Croix-de-Fer / Glandon. Around 9:15 we see a first group of five appear. One of the five is Michiel, clearly recognizable by his rocking style. The others are Julien Bérard, Thomas Lemaitre, Kenny Nijssen and Rossano Mauti. A second group, which includes Davide Covolo and Jeroen Vercammen, follows at a short distance. They too have arranged for a supply at the same place as we have. It's always nice to have a chat. Dirk Beullens, Michiel's friend, also comes through very quickly and gets his only provision of the day: two large drinking cans of 750ml.
The riders continue to the top of the Croix-de-Fer, we take the descent of the Glandon to wait in Le Villard Martinan for their arrival. We're 50 kilometers into the GF and are curious what has happened in the meantime. Not much apparently, because the five are still together. Their lead on the chasers has increased significantly.
From then on, it's follow on the Glandon with the intention of providing one last supply for Michiel at the summit. The organization's car, with Cédric Haas hanging out of the roof, has their hands full trying to pass the cars coming up behind in safe places. It's a shame that some of them still pass at full risk.... The organization can certainly not be blamed for this. After the arrival, several participants told us that the organisation was excellent. We share this opinion. The organization of GFNY is of excellent quality. Next year they also organize one in the Vosges, which is promising.
While we are following, Rossano Mauti gets into trouble, followed by Michiel. He is soon passed by Rossano, apparently the battery is empty ... It's hard going uphill and the last supply is accepted with gratitude.
Next stop, Vaujany. We're just in time to see that the remaining three have put up a tough fight in the final climb. With about 1 kilometer to go Kenny Nijssen has a comfortable lead. He is clearly the strongest today. Well deserved victory, congratulations! Thomas Lemaitre gets second and Julien Bérard third.
On the spot we're standing. we see Michiel coming up to Rossana Mauti, whose tank is almost empty. In this way he conquers another fourth place. Dirk finally becomes 21st and 1st in his category. The difference with Tour des Stations was big. Now looking forward to next Saturday: La Marmotte!