It was a rainy day here in southern France on the opening of the Haute Route Pyrenees. The race expo was delayed few hours due to thunderstorms, and when the weather finally chilled out riders started rolling in with their families and teams.
The stage has a rough start. A long grueling false flat leads the peloton up the first 75km before reaching the cols of the Pyrenees. Long undulating territory either before or after hitting a few cols is a taxing ordeal, especially if a rider is separated from the main peloton. The Pyrenees Haute Route consists of an enormous amount of climbing, but may very well claim the steepest ascents of any of the three Haute Route events as each stage consists of a number of sections of false flat. The #MyPower InfoCrank riders must stick to their understanding of their power numbers on the climbs while attempting to stay in contact with a fast moving peloton on the false flats all the while knowing they can’t burn all their matches before hitting the Tourmalet on Day Four.
A slight respite on stage five with an individual time trial will allow riders to rest and racers to move up in the general classification before the big finish on stage seven into Toulouse, France. Overall, the Pyrenees Haute Route is a beautiful and unique challenge filled with legendary cols (apparently that’s what French mountains are called) and any who conquer even one in a day, let alone three ,have something to brag about and be proud of.
A few weeks ago I began reading peoples applications to be one of the chosen #MyPower InfoCrank riders for the 2015 Haute Route. Riders were offered a month on the InfoCrank before the event, along with a slew of subscriptions for analysis software, access to an incredible coach, and weekly webinars with final preparation tips. I knew what we were offering was generous, but I didn’t how much it would mean to people.
As I began to open them all up and read the first few I realized that people took this application seriously and wrote with great excitement and eagerness. As I moved on to the longer writings I became more and more pumped for the upcoming weeks. The more I began to engage the applications, the more I wanted to meet these people!
When asked “Why should we choose you as a #MyPower InfoCrank Rider?” approximately 45 people gave some version, small or large, of their life stories. Riding with power and intention is more than just a hobby or sport.
I read about a great deal more than just bike measurements; I got to read about jobs, families, past and present situations along with future goals. I got to really know some people before I even met them. I loved being able to see people’s personalities in what they wrote, whether it was extreme confidence or a bit of timid shyness. Eventually I got to see pictures of everyone who is riding InfoCrank and now I’m beginning to meet them all.
Each and every one of our riders is brave, but some in particular stand out a bit. One of our Haute Route #MyPower InfoCrank riders has the courage to tell others about his journey with Bi-Polar Disorder. He uses cycling for “healthy mind in a healthy body.”
Another of our Haute Route #MyPower InfoCrank riders is a former amateur race car driver and he likened the InfoCrank to the data in high-performance race cars, stating, “The data doesn’t lie.”
We had people from twenty different countries apply, and only six of them are women. Twelve total are riding in the Pyrenees, only one of which is a female. #MyPower riders have many different careers in life, young and old(er) and all of which we are so happy to have riding our product! Our weekly webinars in preparation brought us closer to the riders again, and the feedback about their experiences leading up to this week has been incredible. Just check out the hashtag #MyPower or #InfoCrank to see each of the riders in their last weeks of preparation.
Interestingly, some riders have had years of experience with many different power meters and some have never even touched a power meter. A few of our riders are riding InfoCrank Classics, which presently means they’re not using compact chain rings. We love that people are so excited about riding InfoCrank and are strong enough to compete in such an extreme race! Most of our riders are seemingly very competitive and also eager to learn about their power and how to better themselves as riders, and here at Verve we believe that improving and understanding power is the best way to do so!
We want to wish ALL our MyPower riders the very best over the next weeks! Bring on Haute Route!
BY ASHLEY TAYLOR
VERVE ACCOUNT MANAGER