Rapha Gentlemen’s Race Bavaria

Photography: Jon Woodroof & Maximilian Prechtel | Date:
Instagram images: @twotoneams

The scene in the junkyard from the 1986 classic coming-of-age film Stand by Me flashed through my mind as we stood before the locked gate to the quarry (“Chopper! Sick balls!”). Only two hours previously, during the Captain’s Briefing, I’d specifically told all teams about this detour that went through a working quarry. Be sure to stay to the right, I’d said, and don’t take the path towards the wooden hut.

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Now the early teams apparently managed to do exactly that, but it turns out that wooden hut belonged to a security watchman and his German shepherd dog, and he was none too pleased to see hordes of Lycra-clad trespassers on his patch, on what should have been a deserted Saturday morning. Various insults and threats in Bavarian were hurled towards the (mostly) non-comprehending riders and at some point, said watchman simply decided to just lock the gate instead.

This left some teams in a bit of a quandary. Not wishing to risk disqualification, one team called the race director to ask for advice. Most of the others simply took the more sensible route around the quarry and rejoined the intended path a couple of hundred metres later. Not so all teams. Meester Knecht, a motley crew made up by the Pristine Fixie store in Amsterdam, took it upon themselves to a) climb over the two-and-a-half-metre metal gates, bikes and all, and b) continue the route through the quarry. Presumably chased by Chopper.

BAVARIA-005 Images found on Instagram.

Now, I’m not claiming that wilful trespassing on private property is an intrinsic part of Rapha Gentlemen’s Races but both a sense of adventure and the desire to continue come-what-may certainly are.

This was our first Gentlemen’s Race on mainland Europe and we were keen to maintain the tradition of what has made previous editions elsewhere such successes. A beautiful but demanding route, plenty of gravel and off-road sections, and a challenge designed to test even the most cohesive of teams.

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Eighteen teams of six riders took to the start line early on a Saturday morning, just south of Munich. Some had come from as far away as Spain, Greece, Holland, the Czech Republic and Austria; others had only just met each other for the first time that morning. The route took them south towards the Walchensee for a surprise feed-stop of apple strudel with vanilla sauce and espressos, accompanied by views of the Bavarian Alps, before looping back via Lengries.

Of the 18 teams that started, 18 teams made it to the finish. The fastest took a shade under six hours to complete the 180km and 2,000m of climbing, the slowest a little over nine hours. One team had five punctures in the last 50km alone, while others rode through completely unscathed.

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The traditional, much fought over lanterne rouge caps for the slowest team went to Gruppetto Berlin but not before they’d pushed their sixth member 100km back home after his rear derailleur exploded, taking spokes and freehub with it. In the true spirit of the Gentlemen’s Race, they refused to take a lift from the broom wagon.

That was just one of the many acts of true camaraderie displayed during the day and we were proud to be witness to it. It may have been our first Gentlemen’s Race in Europe, but it certainly won’t be our last.

More pictures can be seen on our Flickr page or via the #rgr hashtag on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

 

Team Time #
TEAM rv sturmvogel München

05:49:00

1

RADCORE

06:27:00

2

Team SPOOCHA

06:30:00

3

Bonn-Cycling

06:32:00

4

Feine Fahrräder München

06:34:00

5

Tiris

06:36:00

6

BMW

06:41:00

7

Ride Unicorn

06:46:00

8

Meester Knecht

06:48:00

9

Festka

06:50:00

10

Vaig a fer un tomb

06:51:00

11

Rapha & Friends

07:05:00

12

Ride with passion

07:09:00

13

Individualisten

07:37:00

14

Heimspiel

07:51:00

15

Bence´s 6

08:07:00

16

Gruppetto Berlin

08:08:00

17

Colonia Cycling Club*

09:01:00

18

 

*5 starting riders only.

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Share this
  • pveugen

    Thanks for the amazing ride! We’ve had so much fun.

    The Flickr set is not public yet (‘Oops! You don’t have permission to view this page’).

  • allanberger

    thanks again for the event, it was an awesome route with various adventures guaranteed! :)

  • Ste Ki

    Also many thanks from Bonn for the fantastic event. And very nice that you feature our photo in your latest newsletter. :-)

  • Guest

    great “adventure” day! thanks.

  • Guest

    test

  • wunnspeed

    Maybe this is a stupid question, but how do you find out about these? I would have done this in a minute (however, I was in Scotland at a bikepacking race). Any of them coming up around Zurich?

  • http://racefietsblog.nl/ Hendrik Uittenbogaard

    Looks awesome, as always. Is the route also going to be available?

  • Richard Smith

    Where’s the video?

  • Max Bormann

    Are the grey/lime jerseys ( on the 2nd picture)
    rapha jerseys?

  • Bjoern Merz

    Thanks for the great Day!

  • Gem Atkinson

    great shots – looked to be a fantastic & challenging ride!

  • Markus Neckar

    Although coming in last, it was a great day. Kudos and thanks to the organizing staff, that was a big event!