Starting in the town of Pinderes in Lot et Garonne, France, L’Enfer Landais (The Hell of Landais) is an apt name for a unique race which fittingly is also on the same weekend as Paris Roubaix as it includes 37km of dirt roads through the forests in this area.
But wow what a race and what carnage! Crashes, exploding tires and loads of punctures. Cycling Gods were not smiling on me however:
Even though I went and bought special lager diameter tires especially for the race, I got a front wheel puncture on I think the second or third section of dirt roads, but thanks to my team car got a pretty quick change and after a very hard chase got back into the caravan of support cars just as we entered another dirt section, so I got to breath into a whole bunch of dirt and dust.
However I made my way through them and joined the back of the bunch and spent a little time to recover. Then with 40km to go and now in a vastly reduced bunch I went to the front on a dirt section and was going well… but you guessed it, got another puncture!
That was pretty much the end of my race as the neutral vehicle went past me with no wheels left and I was left in the middle of nowhere. Thanks so much to a French couple who were out for a Saturday afternoon drive, stopped and gave me a lift back to Pinderes.
Despite all this, I really loved the race which was totally different and fantastically organised (thanks to cs casteljaloux), I was just disappointed that I got the second puncture as I really had “good sensations” in my legs today and felt like I could have done well. … next year!
On the plus side, I managed to get back to the finish line before the end of the race and snap a few photos on my phone of the winners coming through for you!
1st Remy Laurent – Empalot
2nd Valade Dylan Tonneins
3rd Echevarria Damien – Empalot
4th Chellet Frédéric Bearn – Isart
5th Gallego Thierry – Galgon
6th Bouffil Alain – Longages
7th Ompraret Hervé – Lavedan
8th Conchou Romain – Haut Agenais
1st Ounzari Jean Paul – Casteljaloux
2nd Gabas Laurent – Libourne
3rd Pietrasik Laurent – Accro Velo
4th Couette Kevin – Casteljaloux
5th Simoes luis – Haut Agenais
6th Barrat Jean Luc – Casteljaloux
7th Andrieu Gérard – CSL
8th Garcia Simeon – Accro Vélo
1st Costes Olivier – Casteljaloux
2nd Sanchez Emanuel – cc Marmande
3rd Denaules Julien – Tonneins
4th Fellet Laurent – ste Bazeille
5th Larroudé – David Longages