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IM France bike v Wales

 
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kennyOX2




Joined: 18 Aug 2014
Posts: 146
Location: Oxford

PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:17 pm    Post subject: IM France bike v Wales Reply with quote

Question for a mate: How does the IM France bike compare to Wales? I can advise him on Wales but I have no idea of France except its also very hilly and tough with technical descents.

Thanks,
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gingerbongo




Joined: 21 Sep 2012
Posts: 1287
Location: Devon

PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've not done France, but as i understand it's a long, long up followed by a long, long down. Whereas Wales is just up, down, up, down constantly.
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SGreg




Joined: 30 Jun 2010
Posts: 851
Location: High Peak

PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

France couldn't be more different,

There are only 3 climbs. But they are very big climbs and the main one is a proper monster 12miles and 3000ft!

My Garmin recorded just shy of 12,000ft overall wales is only 7-8000ft?

Descents, again totally different to wales its all long wide switchbacks, far more fast and flowing than the tight country lanes of wales.

Its also probably the most scenic course in the world, up in the alps at times it is completely breath-taking! I was Dieing on my arse but still just blown away by the course!

https://www.strava.com/activities/339009809 ...I wasn't having a good day!

Swim is beautiful in warm clear water and the run is terrible. Long boring and insanely hot.
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tuckandgo




Joined: 03 Sep 2012
Posts: 287

PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gingerbongo wrote:
I've not done France, but as i understand it's a long, long up followed by a long, long down. Whereas Wales is just up, down, up, down constantly.


Did both last year and this is pretty much all you need to know Surprised

Wales has more climbing (don't know how accurate my garmin is as it takes for ever to lock on - but I have roughly 2500m vs 2000m) and Wales has short steep climbs. Nice is long steady alpine climbing.
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Hiphophopper




Joined: 14 Jul 2017
Posts: 18
Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tuckandgo wrote:
gingerbongo wrote:
I've not done France, but as i understand it's a long, long up followed by a long, long down. Whereas Wales is just up, down, up, down constantly.


Did both last year and this is pretty much all you need to know Surprised

Wales has more climbing (don't know how accurate my garmin is as it takes for ever to lock on - but I have roughly 2500m vs 2000m) and Wales has short steep climbs. Nice is long steady alpine climbing.


France will probably be sunny and warm...Wales will probably be cold and wet
France Wins
France roads are generally good (and fast) Wales roads and generally narrow and poor.
France Wins
France has the French....Wales has the Welsh...
Ermm...Draw..? Twisted Evil
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SGreg




Joined: 30 Jun 2010
Posts: 851
Location: High Peak

PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hiphophopper wrote:
[
France will probably be sunny and warm...Wales will probably be cold and wet
France Wins


Warm and sunny?


It was 35+ DegC and No wind at all when I did it....I'd prefer a bit of wind and rain to that!
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kennyOX2




Joined: 18 Aug 2014
Posts: 146
Location: Oxford

PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting comments - thanks.

Tuckandgo... what other comparisons would you draw between the two? I have done Wales but am very curious about France. I'm not the best on the bike but think the long gradual climbs of France may suit me more than the punchy nature of Wales. I did love the atmosphere in Wales though. I'm a decent swimmer so the chop of Wales and the tough run also suited me.

Any further thoughts much valued.
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tuckandgo




Joined: 03 Sep 2012
Posts: 287

PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kennyOX2 wrote:
Interesting comments - thanks.

Tuckandgo... what other comparisons would you draw between the two? I have done Wales but am very curious about France. I'm not the best on the bike but think the long gradual climbs of France may suit me more than the punchy nature of Wales. I did love the atmosphere in Wales though. I'm a decent swimmer so the chop of Wales and the tough run also suited me.

Any further thoughts much valued.


I'm not sure I'd draw many comparisons beyond the fact they are both at the tougher end of the IM spectrum.

The swim in Nice is prettier but more likely to be a smooth sea. The bike ride is as discussed above (smooth roads, long steady climbs, beautiful med and mountain scenery), the run in Nice is bog standard IM, 4 10km laps near the sea, totally flat.

Atmosphere is better in Wales but the only place I've raced to rival that was Vichy. I'm a big fan of both.
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Swansea Red




Joined: 05 Feb 2015
Posts: 28
Location: Swansea

PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also did both races last year. France was sightly different to usual in that it was a month or so earlier, meaning it wasn't that hot (that didn't stop me cramping badly on the run though).

In terms of comparisons, my view would be;

Swim - France was great, nice water temp, maybe even a bit too warm by the end, but pretty calm. Wales can be, and often is, choppier, which doesn't suit me. France 1 Wales 0

Bike - As said, two very different approaches to total altitude gain. personally, the France style suits me better in that you can sit and spin up the long climbs. Also, the descents are fun, and you can make decent time up if you're a confident/competent descender. Wales is a lot more disruptive and in my opinion much tougher for it. The scenery in France was amazing if you could find the energy to look up. France 2 Wales 0

Run - quite simply, France is boring; four flat loops on an out and back, with virtually no shade if it is sunny. Wales has a lot more 'variety' and the crowds in the town help to mask the pain briefly. Obviously it's a tough course, but some people like that! France 2 Wales 1

Venue - Nice is an iconic tri venue, and a great place for a holiday after the race. Tenby is just taken over for the race week, and the town responds brilliantly, with great support (also further afield on the bike too), and it feels really special as a result whereas in Nice, it's just another event and the rest of the town just carries on as normal. France 2 Wales 2

Overall, I've done France now, and probably won't do it again, whereas I've done Wales twice, and would love to do it again next year (this year was a no-go for family reasons). My time at France was faster than either of my Wales times, which reflects the fact that the course was better suited to my strengths, so I guess it shows that it's what you want from an event which would determine which is right for you. France 2 Wales 3 after extra time.

Hope this helps, any questions, just ask!
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SGreg




Joined: 30 Jun 2010
Posts: 851
Location: High Peak

PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Swansea Red wrote:
I
Overall, I've done France now, and probably won't do it again, whereas I've done Wales twice, and would love to do it again next year (this year was a no-go for family reasons). My time at France was faster than either of my Wales times, which reflects the fact that the course was better suited to my strengths, so I guess it shows that it's what you want from an event which would determine which is right for you. France 2 Wales 3 after extra time.



France for me is definitely a box ticker.

Its superb event and I would encourage anyone to have a go, but once done its done, I feel no need to go back, and I didn't even finish!


Still not done Wales (T- 17days) But from all accounts its incredible and more of a "crack" race, as in its a little bit "moreish"
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TSH




Joined: 02 Jul 2008
Posts: 929
Location: Welsh Riviera

PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've done both - logistically Tenby is much easier and also quite a lot cheaper (all in) than Nice.

Nice is (most likely) to be in the summer sun, whereas, Tenby gives a longer training time in the British weather having you peak in early Sept rather than June (and so long rides, runs etc in Aug). IMO, it can be harder for us Brits to peak earlier in the year due to inclement weather and shorter days.

In terms of race venues, they both have the same distance in common but other than that, they are very different races.
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TheSlowOne




Joined: 25 Jul 2017
Posts: 23
Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Didn't IM France have no gels for the bike and run course this year? Apparently their supplier let them down!!!
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Whisk




Joined: 09 Jun 2005
Posts: 8436
Location: London

PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SGreg wrote:
France couldn't be more different,

There are only 3 climbs. But they are very big climbs and the main one is a proper monster 12miles and 3000ft!

My Garmin recorded just shy of 12,000ft overall wales is only 7-8000ft?

Descents, again totally different to wales its all long wide switchbacks, far more fast and flowing than the tight country lanes of wales.

Its also probably the most scenic course in the world, up in the alps at times it is completely breath-taking! I was Dieing on my arse but still just blown away by the course!

https://www.strava.com/activities/339009809 ...I wasn't having a good day!

Swim is beautiful in warm clear water and the run is terrible. Long boring and insanely hot.


I'm not sure that I believe the altitude from your Garmin, especially after looking at your Strava file. From memory, I recorded just under 2000m in 2009, so about 6000ft. As you say, the big climb is about 1000m (3000ft), but there's no way that you're going to get another 9000ft from the other climbs.

I think the course is usually about 5 miles short too, so that helps with your overall time Wink
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