A few days after the end of the Tour de France, on July 24, Sylvain Georges will ride his bike to take the start of a race very different from the ones he competed in when he was a professional racer for 17 years, including two in the race. AG2R La Mondiale team.
Taking the start of the fourth edition of the Race Across Francethe first ultra-cycling event in the country, the cyclist from Beaumont in the Puy-de-Dôme is launching a new challenge five years after taking up his sporting retirement. The idea of aligning with this endurance race was born out of a friendship with Clermontois first world trail champion Thomas Lorblanchet in 2009. Together a few months ago, they rallied on the Puy-de-Dôme bike. in Mont-Blanc, or more than 400 km from a distance.
A very fatal first experience of the same kind of Sylvain Georges who, despite this, germinated the idea of this extraordinary challenge. Only 50 riders will line up at the start of the longest distance of the Race Across France. The route from south to north of France will pass through Mount Ventoux, the Alpe d’Huez, Annecy, Grenoble and Lyon before crossing France from west to west to reach the Norman coast. Sylvain Georges set the record: arriving in less than 4 days and 20 hours.
Eat fat and don’t sleep
A physical and mental challenge that he has been preparing for several months ago. At 37 years old, he knows he will have to go looking for unsupported resources at his heart to make sure it will not end the trial without talking about breaking the record. He should sleep as little as possible, that’s why with the help of a zophrologist, he trains himself to do 9-minute micro-siests every 3 or 4 hoursto learn to fall asleep in three minutes and to do breathing exercises to control physical pain who will not miss the wire of the past hours on the bike. “With my zophrologist, the work in progress that we do comes to a preparation like the sailors of the” Globe Vendée “or the Jacques-Vabre Trophy, I’m learning to manage sleep deprivation. “
300 km between 7pm and 7am
Currently, its preparation phase passes through the repetition of two weeks of non -stop 12 -hour cycling sequence. The first turned out a little difficult, the second went better. For the latter on the Charade circuit on friday, april 11, Sylvain Georges puts himself in the conditions he prefers to roll at night. “I wanted to know sensations that I don’t have the habit of having so as not to be surprised if during the test I have eyes that cross, if I have hallucinations. My goal is to push my body to its limits for the day of my challenge to understand what is going to happen to me, do not bother me and continue to pedal. “
From 7 pm to 7 am, accompanied by some fellow cyclists who came to support him, he covered 300 kilometers with only 33 minutes of rest. “It was too risky to roll at night on open roads. Also, the circuit director wanted me to allow access when I told him about my project,” he said. explains Sylvain Georges, “the other reason is that the circuit is not flat and I thus find conditions similar to the roads I would find in the Alps. “ By the end of the night, he had accumulated 6,655 meters of denial over 330 kilometers.
A race against him but supported by a team
In July, during the nearly five days that the test lasts the auvergnat rider can count on a team of 18 people who would relive day and night to accompany him in order to ensure his safety on the roads, but also the logistics with a camping-car that follows him and in which he can take short breaks or take a shower.
For the rest, Sylvain Georges takes his three regular meals, brunch, lunch and dinner on the bike. The week before the start, he adapts his diet to the effort he will have to provide, that is to limit the sugars and in turn prefer the fats and robotic meals he will take during the entire trial.
Sylvain knows what it’s like to suffer on the bike and I think it’s a situation he likes – Jean-François Georges his father.
Jean-François Georges, the pope and first supporter of Sylvain, is convinced that his son can rise to the challenge of improving the timing of the title holder. “My son is very motivated, _when he wants to do something, he goes to the end of whatever it costs_. I believe that through the past with the efforts he consented to on the bike when he was a professional, he knew what it was to suffer and I think it was a situation he liked. “
Sylvain Georges will face many unknowns, the weather will not be the least. “It’s like a boat race, he has to adopt a strategy based on this weather, roll faster to avoid depression or on the contrary roll faster and let pass with the risk of wasting time, what I fear most is the north wind, he will as a result drive 2500 km with the wind in the snow! Despite everything, we can’t stop him from wishing good wind!