Rollathlon 2013 (France): the new One Eleven
We discovered a new "One Eleven"
The end of the "One Eleven" has been a big loss for all long distance European skaters. The Swiss race was a major event of the calendar. It took all the determination of two French clubs "Haut-Rhône-n-Roller" and "Générations Roller" to gather motivated people and think about a brand new event.
An international audience
The first unofficial edition counted only seven skaters. Last year, there were more than 200 and this year, one reached the 300 participants on the start line, showing that the formula works! More than a dozen of nationalities are represented in 2013 as you can see in our figures' summary of the Rollathlon (see below).
A logistic requiring a lot of means
Organizing a race like the Rollathlon is not easy because of the distance, because of the number of cities crossed. The clubs has to contact the authorities of three different territorial subdivisions: Ain, Savoie and Haute-Savoie, administered by prefects to get an agreement.
The voluntaries have to choose the good route, to avoid traffic. They also have to find smooth roads and to use bicycle paths as often as possible. They installed no less than 650 road signs before the race!
No need to say that the nights were shorts. We heard that some malicious people stole some bales of straw before the race!
lIt is necessary to "hire" about 250 volunteers to ensure safety, ravitallement, logistics. Among them, sixty bikers to secure the race..
The (amazing) route
The course of Rollathlon runs along the shores of the Rhône river during 103 km. Skaters alternate shaded uphills, rolling downhill sections, nice fast bicycle path and greenways along the river, fields, woods... a multitude of landscapes with mountains in the background. It looks like another French race, the Transroller ... but 3 times longer!
Men's rance: RPM Poli controls
Now, let's back to the race ... The first kilometers show huge differences in the skills of the various skaters. The race starts with a 800m uphill. The first attacks are launched after 5km by the team RPM Poli composed with Aurélien Roumagnac and Elton De Souza. Only a dozen skaters reamins! There are Stéphane Pineau (F2P), Benoit Thiebault (CPBB), Benoit Besson (Generations Roller), Antoine Lesavre (PUC), Frédéric Techer (Reunion), Arnaud Bertine (ROBB), Stephen Herreros, Christophe Martinet ... and some others.
The skaters are barely out of the first uphill and the speed is already approaching 40 km/h, it feels like marathon!
The first sprint of the best climber was held in Chanaz after about 23 km. RPM Poli imposes its pace, nobody is able to counter attack. After the climb, downhill time! In the slopes, the speed easily exceeds 65 kph, even in the women's category. Once again, the differences of technical levels cream of the packs.
Skaters let go one after the other. Stephen Pineau is the only one able to follow the pace of RPM Poli skaters. Even Antoine Lesavre, a serious outsider, had to give up.
15 km from the finish: the RPM Poli skaters Aurelien and Elton accelerate and distance Stéphane Pineau.
In the final sprint bonification, 3 km from the finish, we feel that Elton de Souza is less sharpened than Aurelien Roumagnac... but the team spririt is stronger. Both skaters cross the finish line together with a time of 3h03min52sec. They beat the record of their former teammate Mathieu Boher set the previous year by 6 minutes!
Women's race: the return of Anne-Claire Maillard
In women's category, we were curious to see the the performance of Anne-Claire Maillard! After several years of silence, the young mother lacing skates for the marathon of Beauvais before participating in the Rollathlon. Anne-Claire won several editions of the "One Eleven" many years ago... She could not miss such an opportunity!
However, she had to leave the victory to Karine Malle-Urvoy (LOU Roller), another renown former skater who had a few chance. Indeed, Anne-Claire Maillard took the wrong way a few minutes before the end of the race! The road to victory was open for Karine Mall-Urvoy.
The third place went to Marine Thiebault (PUC Roller). Anne-Claire still got the jersey of the best climber (her specialty) and the jersey of the best sprinter (much less common!).
Women realize a great race, finishing in the overall top 20. It proves that when ladies are allowed to enjoy the drafting of male packs, they are far from being ridiculous!
And what about 2014 ?
The organization was forced to cancel rollerskis' race under the pressure from prefectures. She promised to do its best to get this race back in 2014! We hope that this cancellation was not too detrimental to Rollathlon. Several foreign skiers, including Russians, had already booked their flights.One thing is certain, the small French race has found its letter of nobility. No doubt it will attract renown skaters in the upcoming years!!
Rollathlon 2013: a figures summary
- 325 skaters
- 172 voluntaries including 60 motorbikers and 4 bicycles
- 10 nations (31 Germans, seven Spaniards, four Swiss, three Belgians, two Austrians, two Italians, a Russian, a South African, an English and Dutch)
- 103 km through three subdivisions and 24 cities
- 650 road signs along the course
- 4 intermediate sprints (best sprinter and best climber)
- 8 supply points
- 300 pasta party
- 900 bananas and 900 apples
Rollathlon 2013: main results
|4)||GAILLARD||Elodie||Mont Blanc Roller||03:52:58.7|
|6)||GOUMAND||Camille||CSB ROLLER SPORT||04:07:08.1|
|7)||DUVAL||Claudie||CSB ROLLER SPORT||04:07:08.1|
|9)||SAUTEREAU MARTIN||Sylvie||CSB ROLLER SPORT||04:10:32.9|
|1)||DE SOUZA||Elton||RPM Poli||03:03:52.3|
|3)||PINEAU||Stéphane||Les Roulettes Herbretaises||03:08:45.6|
|8)||VOITOUX||Antoine||Mont blanc Roller/F2P||03:27:45.8|
Photos : Alfathor