We went to Arnay-le-Duc in Bourgogne, France over the weekend. We went to do some climbing, drink some burgundy and ride the tenth anniversary of La Claudio Chiappuci. Cath was erring towards the 107km distance. But her ‘coach’ suggested she try the 161kms. Afterall, how hard can 161kms with only 2000m of climbing be? Pretty hard it turns out. The pace was fast early as riders used the first couple of climbs to thin out the ranks of the peloton. Cath made it over the first hump in the third bunch; I was in the first, but it wasn’t to last. The lead bunch split as the young guns rode away to win in 4 hours 23 minutes or so. On the second-last climb I was just behind the very thinned bunch and convinced myself I would rejoin on the descent – too bad it was a minus one per cent gradient for 15kmsor so, with a headwind. It was a lonely descent, for even while I managed 50km/h, the bunch was faster. I was rejoined by the other remnants at the bottom of the next climb and rolled in at 4hours 46 minutes. Cath managed to out-climb most of the menfolk in her bunch – there were no other sheilas in sight. But she had a few weight issues on the descent making it hard to keep up with the lardier boys – time to buy that 11 (to say nothing of the Orbea). After working with a couple of willing riders, she rolled across in 5 hours 26 – first sheila overall and for her category (obviously). The course was quite stunning, if you took the time to look (some post ride photos below). And in case you’re wondering why the Italian name for a French event? Turns out a local was quite a fan and named the local cyclosportive after the Italian veteran pro. Cath even met the man in the aborted presentation ceremony (a thunderstorm intervened). A tres bon weekend!