“ Amongst the thousands of special moments (the dark ones I have forgotten), I will always remember Phil shepherding me up the Crouzette, Aimar warming me up with Speculoos filled crepes before a cold descent down the Peyresourde, Ian making sure I never left lunch without pudding, and Louise putting up with my whining every night.
Thanks to my fellow riders for your mix of passion, toughness, and relentless optimism. It was really inspiring to see you guys both hammering it out AND smiling day after day. It has definitely changed the way I view the sport, and probably life. And I have to say again, I was really moved by the gesture of you guys waiting for me before the final stretch…Coming home with you all was a fantastic feeling.” CB, CCC Pyrenees 2014 Rider.
If you are thinking of registering for a Cent Cols Challenge, please take time to read through all the information on this site. These events have been called “life-changing” by many, a description that has not been chosen randomly!
Events for 2015 : (see DATES FOR 2016 at bottom of page)
CCC CORSICA 18-28 May(TWO-star difficulty-rating) The second edition of this highly successful 2014 event. Probably the most appropriate event for those looking to ride their first Cent Cols Challenge.
CCC SOUTHERN ALPS (NEW) 6 – 16 June. (THREE-star difficulty-rating) (Nice to Nice) A chance to explore the southern part of this vast range in more detail. With a planned ‘Northern Alps’ to follow on from this in 2016, for those who are looking for an ‘Alpine Double’ treat.
CCC PYRENEES 30 August – 9 September.(FOUR-star difficulty-rating) The 2014 route. Rivesaltes to Rivesaltes. Proven magic, untouched by time. TOUGH !
CCC CANTABRICO 14 – 24 September. (NEW). (FIVE-star difficulty-rating) Bilbao to Bilbao. The BIG climbs of the Vuelta and so many more. From the Basque Country to the Picos region and back. TOUGH !
CCC CEVENNES. (NEW) 29 September to 9 October ( TWO-star difficulty-rating) Montpellier to Montpellier. Limited to 15 places, for its’ first edition,, a very special ride through some of the wildest parts of France : Cevennes, Ardeche & the Monts du Cantal. The perfect CCC for those looking for a tough, but more “social”, ride without too many steep gradients.
“ I find these events go way beyond physical capabilities. You need to engage a mental attitude on par with the road ahead of you. Never expect or accept an easy option. I believe many of this group would have been physically capable of the task but may have just lacked that mental strength to just tough out the moments (or hours) that seemed unbearable. One rider showed phenomenal mental commitment, he broke two ribs in a crash on the morning of stage one and still completed about 80% of the 10 days! Hard as nails.”
“ a CCC is not a souvenir magnet to fix on your fridge to show off, it’s a complete inner experience which only a few will manage to complete and fully understand. CCC does not happen outwards, it’s all inwards.”
“ The size of the field (usually about 30 riders) and the half dozen staff means that by day three or so everybody knows everybody’s name and you really feel part of a close friendly group, trying to help everyone succeed. The organiser and his team have set it all up so well for us, without them, such a challenge would be impossible. We have done so many climbs, some were a breeze, some an almighty struggle and as with all the Cent Cols routes it’s the previously unknown climbs that highlight a day or the back roads we take. It has been so savage that only six riders managed to complete the whole route. The event is so intense you have no time off the bike for anything other than to eat, sleep, endeavour to stay awake during the nightly briefing and to arrange ever increasingly elaborate feats of engineering excellence to wedge, suspend and oscillate the hotel’s bathroom hair dryer to dry your kit by it’s self (many a fuse has been blown).
HARDENNES : a week of riding and race-watching on the best roads of the Belgian Ardennes. See Training page for details.
DATES FOR 2016 EVENTS : SOUTHERN ALPS (4 – 14th June) , NORTHERN ALPS (21-31st July, tbc), DOLOMITES (29th August to 8th September), PYRENEES (14th to 24th September)
ALSO, BIG NEWS : A PLANNED “CENT COLS CLASSICS CHALLENGE. 22-29 May – 6 full distance Classics in 7 days : Flanders, Gent-Wevelgem, Paris-Roubaix, Rest Day, Amstel Gold, Flèche Wallonne, Liege-Bastogne-Liege. Details to follow once full confirmation with Rapha Travel.