This weekend, on the 26th and 27th of august, the Le Mans 24 Hours Cycling Endurance Race takes place on the famous Bugatti Speedway. The endurance cyclo-sportive is a relay race, by team, over a continuous 24 hour duration.
"We raced for more than 800km with 8000m of D+ by rider".
Earlier this year, Damien, our ambassador in Paris, presented the idea to us of entering a KATUSHA sponsored mixed team.
The KATUSHA 24hrs Team story started during a Tuesday evening run. Clément, who previously raced Le Mans in 2013 in the duo catergory, told Damien about the race: "we raced for more than 800km with 8000m of D+ by rider".
Damien was sold on the idea and the team of 6 was born:
Camille, 30 years old, ex-business analyst / now freelance community marketing manager.
Camille started to ride 2 years ago, after she was given a free registration for a Triathlon. She finished 5th in the women's category, with a 35km/h pace on the bike part. Pas mal!
Since then she has climbed The Ventoux twice and taken the 3rd place in her category on the GFNY Mont Ventoux 2017 cyclo.
In preparation for the 24hrs race, she's been making laps on the Longchamp bike raceway near Paris, pushing hard on the pedals and riding in the peloton at high speed!
She’s ready for Le Mans!
Christophe, 41 years old, Digital AD
Christophe is the senior of the team, he is driven by a simple philosophy...
"party hard in the night, ride hard in the morning!"
Riding since an early age, Christophe traverses the chemin of the Limousin and Auvergne with his VTT.
When he arrived in Paris he became a runner and competed in some marathons, but quickly he was drawn back to the bicycle, this time on a road-bike.
First he was an adept of the solo rides... 'Creative Christophe' needs some space and time alone to feed his mind. The road bike was a great solution.
Since the team met, Christophe has tried to become the master of the Gran Fondo, never refusing an extra km, just to be sure that a nice full 100km is achieved!
Now, he is impatient to know how many kms he will make with the team during the 24hrs race!
Clément, 26 years old, Motor Engineer
Born in Angers, Clément discovered road biking during the holidays while climbing the Col du Canadel, on his own at the age of 12. A few days later he climbed the Mont Ventoux for the first time with his father... A rider was born.
A few days later he climbed the Mont Ventoux for the first time with his father... A rider was born.
Since the early years he has experimented with many different bikes, such as BMX and VTT, but he prefers to be on the road.
At the age of 16 he was riding in the vineyards of Val de Loire, training as hard as he could.
In 2013 he raced the 24hours of Le Mans, in duo, where he compiled more than 800kms and more than 8000m of D+! This race tested and strengthened his will power and gave him the taste for long race effort. In 2014 he ran the Paris Marathon, and then the Berlin Marathon in 2015 (2h42).
On his way to a second 24hours of Le Mans race, Clement has been training by climbing the Mont Ventoux, riding the Vallée de Chevreuse and his famous 17-turn-climb, a lot!
He will be one of the main engines of the team!
Arnaud, aka « La Bracasse », 32 years old, Consultant Business Intelligence
Arnaud was born not far from Mont Ventoux, but was not interested in him for a while. However, perhaps because he was a little tired with running and the batch of injuries that comes with, eventually he started to ride.
Since then, he has become a 'chain killer' (we have stopped counting the number of chains that he has broken), and a strong defender of the 53/39 chainring in every situation!
Now that he loves riding, his native region is his playground... He's climbed The Ventoux a multiple of times, all the sides!
The 24hours of Le Mans is his target of the year, he his set to takes some strong relays on the raceway!
Jocelyn, 30 years old, Android Engineer
Jocelyn started riding 2 years ago. At the beginning it came as a complement of running, but quickly it became a real passion - a way to take a fresh breath of air in Parisian life! For him, it’s also a way to discover beautiful landscapes in the countryside not so far from the city.
In the last 2 years, Jocelyn has climbed the Mont Ventoux, finished the Paris Marathon, moved to Bordeaux and also become a young father.
He is very happy to race Le Mans, but more than the race performance, for him it is about realising this adventure with friends.
Damien, aka « LeDams », 39 years old, Photographer, Katusha Brand Ambassador
Instagram : @ledams
Strava : https://www.strava.com/athletes/ledams
Damien is the captain, always there to boost the team and try to get the best out of every member in the group.
Since he was 7, he has always had a bike around him. However, his first love was basketball, using his bike as a means of transport. Later, when he was done with basketball, he decided to run and ride.
He started riding with some friends when he was living in Toulouse, mostly just for fun... but racing to the bar could be a great practice (sometimes)!
Since arriving in Paris, he's decided to ride harder, every time that he can. So in the past 2 years he has realised a 300km day ride, climbed some mountains in the Pyrénées and finished L'étape du Tour with the col de l’Izoard climb!
He is a proud ambassador of KATUSHA Sports (his words), trying to spread the word by building a community of riders in Paris and sticking to the anthem that we 'Live to Ride'!
To prepare for the long race, the team have been riding together since the early spring. They have made rides like Paris Chartres, Paris Rouen and Paris Fontainebleau. To work the endurance, they have a playground of different kinds of roads and elevations.
The second part of the practice takes place on the Longchamp ring speedway. In this place reserved for cycling, they ride at high paces with the peloton and to keep a good position in it.
"We decided to pick the Breakaway KATUSHA kit for the team... The design with the stripes and the colours that looks similar to the Pro team jersey! And it’s pretty damn cool to look like that! Plus, the technology of the fabric is perfect for a long effort on the bike. The 37.5 technology keeps us dry, so we do not fear the cold or the hot climate conditions on the bike."
"For the race we plan to switch rider every 1 hour and half to keep a high pace on the speedway, we fix a goal around 37,5 km/h that could reach us to a 900kms performance in 24 hours... it would be so huge to make that score! It will depend on our capacity to stay in the peloton at every relay!"
GOOD LUCK GUYS!