Schleck Gran Fondo - Beware of going to fast
2018 – This second edition, part of the UCI Gran Fondo World Series, was a qualifier for the World Championship for amateurs. You could collect the numbers and chips in the afternoon, and we were lucky our friends was there early. They had to wait approximately 30 minutes, but by the time they got the numbers, the queue quadrupled.
The Friday evening there was a pasta event in the Casino of Mondorf. A very nice hall and there was a pasta bar, for which we received a ticket, included in the price. Later that evening, there was some interview round with few ex famous riders. The brothers Schleck, Jens Voigt and Indurain. We had a drink and didn’t stay too long. We went back to the hotel for a last drink before the big day.
Strava track: GF Schleck
When we looked around, we saw mostly highly trained people. Our friend Stefan who normally ends quite high in the result, did not even qualify. From the start on the speed was very high. You think not to join the bunch, and while you head agrees with that, your legs say something else 🙂
The race starts with 5 km gentle up and down followed by a shorter and a longer climb. After you decent to the water you have a flat part of about 20 kilometers with high speed if you are in a big bunch. After you have every now and then some climbs which are not too long. The surroundings are very nice, and I would really want to go back once to check the landscape out again.
Personally I started way too fast, paying for that after 2 hours of race and suffering for the next 1,5 hours. I mentioned it before it’s very hard not to join the bigger bunch. It stays very tempting. The weather, around 27-28°C was also way too warm for me. When I had my first ever flat tire in a Gran Fondo, the last race motivation was also gone. I just enjoyed the landscape and rode rather gentle to the finish. Anyway, for an average biker, the result is not the most important thing to join a Gran Fondo. It’s the challenge and the satisfying feeling you keep after the finish that matt
Due to local circumstances of our AirBnb host, the stay was cancelled shortly before our trip, so we had to look for an alternative. We found that with the Légère Hotel which was located 20 km away from the start place, which was about 25 minutes drive. The hotel is in an industrial zone but that one was quiet during the weekend and it resulted in moderate prices. The hotel has a paid parking garage but during the weekend we could park for free in the street. A friend was parked in the garage, and there were a lot of nice cars parked there. Not sure if it was for an event or normal business, but we enjoyed looking at all those nice cars, ranging from old timers to fancy sports cars. Reception is a huge open space and staff is very friendly. The room was big and had a very good shower. The bed was comfortable.
Breakfast was very very extensive. There is a huge buffet and I don’t think we could come up with anything which was not present. You have cold and warm dishes, and on the day of the race they even had pasta. Not sure if they do this, but I think this hotel would be a nice place to have a brunch with friends on Sundays. We can strongly recommend this hotel.