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Cent Cols Challenge 2013
The toughest and most beautiful cycling challenge in the world.
Created by and run in association with Philip Deeker, the Cent Cols Challenge (centcolschallenge.com) is the ultimate cycling challenge, with 10 days of endurance riding in the mountains of Europe. Each trip is limited to a maximum of 30 riders.
"To discover that preconceived notions about one’s physical limits are mere perceptions that can be banished by unexpected achievement is an extremely liberating experience. This is the real ‘raison d’être’ of these events. I wanted to create an event that could provide a space for riders to experience the real ‘soul’ of cycling."
The challenge involves climbing 100 cols in 10 days, cycling an average of 200km per day with approximately 4,500 metres of ascension each day. The routes are inspired by the beautifully designed Randonnées Permanentes of the Club des Cent Cols but have been tailored exclusively by Phil.
Run in the Alps, Pyrenees or Dolomites, classic grand tour climbs and hidden gems provide an incredibly tough but unforgettable experience. Trips are limited to 30 riders, so places are sought after each year and are snapped up very quickly.
- Find out more about the Cent Cols Challenge Alps 2013 » NOW SOLD OUT
- Find out more about the Cent Cols Challenge Dolomites 2013 »
- Find out more about the Cent Cols Challenge Pyrenees 2013 »
Why enter the Cent Cols Challenge?
Held in the French Alps, the French Pyrenees and in the Dolomites, the 2013 Cent Cols Challenges all average roughly 200kms daily, with 4,500metres of climbing, over ten stages. One rest day gives riders a respite half-way through. The fully arrowed routes take in many iconic climbs, but often lead riders up seldom-ridden roads, adding a strong sense of discovery to these unique journeys.
In former CCC riders’ own words, these events are “intoxicating”, “life-changing” and “totally addictive”. Many riders who question their sanity on the first days find themselves debating with fellow riders, later in the event, which one they will ride together the following year.
As Phil Deeker, the organiser who also rides the events says:
"To endure the merciless demands of the mountains and yet be touched by their sheer beauty, day after day and for most of the daylight hours on offer, is a pretty fail-safe way to find the true secrets of our sport. To complete it is a worthy achievement, even in the eyes of many pro riders who have now heard about the events."
Despite the emphasis being placed on ‘taking part’ rather than ‘winning’, in order to kindle the inner competitive flame, two climbs per stage are timed (using www.Strava.com ) for those wishing to take part in the CCC KoM competition. As well as adding a competitive moment to the stages, this idea is also designed to reduce the temptation to race downhill- in an event like this, literally hours are spent descending and Phil emphatically warns participants about the inherent dangers that go with the 'climbers’ reward'.
"To enter one of these events is a brave step, but many have proved that you do not need to be part of some kind of amateur elite to succeed in them. These events let riders off the leash of their everyday responsibilities in their ‘normal lives’, but when descending they do have to be reminded of those who depend on and love them!"
Places are limited to 30 riders in order to ensure a close, personal atmosphere within the group and also to ensure a well-supported and safe event. In 2009, the first CCC was held in the French Alps. In 2013, three events are planned and, as Phil tells us, if the pre-sales interest is anything to go by, places will sell faster than ever this year.
- More info: centcolschallenge.com »