The Iron Bike.
Saturday 21 July 2012 Limone Piemonte
Saturday 28 July 2012 Sauze d'Oulx.
The Iron Bike Endurance race is the most beautiful being held in Italy. Eight hundred Kilometers of grueling special stages through the hills and the most beautiful peaks of the Western Alps. During the seven days of
competition, the famous men of steel go up and down continuously the Alps Maritimes, Cozie and Graeae.
The participants, men and women from all over the world compete on real mountain paths; the old military roads (the border between Italy and France), to the steep mule in altitude, to the simple and almost invisible trails ofthe mountains (very often only drawn from chamois).
Always the last leg of this exciting race, was represented by up to 3130 meters of Mount Chaberton (the mountain of thunder). This last enormous effort, is for the competitors and the enthusiastic spectators a real "icing on the cake."
Athletes are at the end of the race, yet to their sore muscles from lactic acid and their indestructible mountain biking, is required a last terrible effort. The climb is tremendous, more than half of the circuit must be addressed with the bike on his shoulders; while the descent is crazy even for those who confronts it, walk with the aid of sticks.
Epic was one of the previous editions, when the organizers and competitors passed the night in the ruins of the ancient fort on the summit of Chaberton (the Fort of Clouds).
This required an unprecedented organizationaleffort.
With the helicopter and the great work of volunteers, the ruins of the fortress were cleared from the ice and put in a position to welcome the participants for the night.
Power generators for electricity, tables and chairs for dinner, camp beds for the night, even the showers!
The Chaberton, after seventy years of oblivion, lived again, and not as an instrument of war, but as a shelter for citizens from around the world.
It was a memorable year!
Race Sixth Stage..the deception!
Tomorrow departure and arrival in the Rifugio Selleries (Sestriere), with an excellent menu served to bikers, 3996 steps down on the sharp rise of Fenestrelle (The Fenestrelle steps to deal with the 4000 downhill is the scene of the first special stage.) and then Mount Chaberton, which represents 'the top Coppi' of this 19 ^ Iron Bike with its 3130 meters height.
Are 8.00 in the morning when the 90 bikers left in the race is kicked off from Base Camp to Selleries Refuge.
All are aware that yesterday's stage has been for a few day of reckoning for the struggle at the top, while for most, the biggest challenge of the entire week: the ascent to the sacred cow that stands in front of their impressive Eye.
The sky is clear and Chaberton (which with its 3130 is the Cima Coppi around the turn) is there in the distance that awaits them. The tremendous rise in the most difficult de Chaberton proves also expected due to adverse weather conditions.
Come bad news, the French do not allow the passage of Montgenevre, inexplicably the stage, practically completed, is canceled.
Competitors are stunned, they accept the situation, but is evident in their faces a question: "why all this", how is it that our labor is not respected and played all the way from the early hours of the morning is not worth anything?
Evidently those who don't fatigue do not think and especially does not respect the athletes and the sport.
The last Round.Saturday 28 July 2012
The final stage of the 19 th edition of Iron Bike. Departure at 8.00 from Sestriere, where athletes rise sull'ovovia that takes them from the town center up to 2700 m altitude on Mount Fraiteve, where part of the first special of the day.
From the cable car Fraiteve is all down to 1200 meters in altitude that is consumed in just eight kilometers to the end of the special stage, positioned near the seventeenth-century Church of San Restituto in Sauze di Cesana.
When the test is the first Spanish Milton Ramos terminating the test in 15'51'' in second place is the leader Ondrej Fojtik square terminating in 16'41'' and third Fabio Bossa (tightrope walker in the downhill trials) that employs 16'46''.The arrival of the final stage, in Sauze d'Oulx, greeted the arrival of the athletes with a beautiful sunny day and a festive public to accept them, crowning an event that once again has proved its appeal.
Sauze d'Oulx is becoming very attentive and receptive to these events that serve to promote the area's most inaccessible areas, and charming.And, of course, did not miss the show under the arch of arrival.
Ranking.Ondrej Fojtik won the 2012 Iron Bike
So the athlete winner of the Czech Republic Ondrej Fojtik to places of honor with the winner of last edition Milton Ramos and Elias Van Hoeydonck Belgian athlete.
English first woman absolute Justin Cotter, between 40 victory over the Swiss athlete Luca Ruffa. In the pairs competition at the Spanish duo Unai Perea Paniagua Garcia and Israel Labarga climb to the top step of the
podium, never giving up the top of the leaderboard all week.
In all finishers of this year will be 60 (those who have completed all the stages within the maximum time required for each step not exceeding the overall limit of 30000 penalty points).
Radiant runner Milton Ramos beaming to reaffirm his delight for the important performance obtained in the hardest mountain bike raid in the world. And 'he said, "Who has never made the Iron Bike has never been mountain biking."