After twice finishing third, Frenchman David Polveroni overcame sweltering heat, blazing sun, 220 kilometers of blistering asphalt, 13 cols with 4270 meters of ascent, and 10,561 other cyclists to win the 29th edition of France’s famous L’Ardéchoise Cyclosportive.
A regular podium finisher at some of the biggest gran fondo races in Europe, including Haute-Route Pyrénées, Haute-Route Alpes and Mont Blanc, Polveroni suffered by himself for the last 50 kilometers with only music in his earbuds helping him turn the pedals over, and over, and over. He crossed under the brief shade of the finish banner in 6:38:04, and then grabbed a well earned ice cold drink.
Benjamin Nast finished second in 6:44:53, with Damien Tarantola next at 6:45:11. Stephanie Gross was the first women in 8:12:17.
Triathlete and long-distance specialist Cédric Béolet, 47, won the first edition of the 618 kilometer Ultra Ardéchoise, including climbing 11,000 meters over 41 cols in just under 27 hours.
Due to extreme weather conditions only 3902 participants officially finished the event in southern France north of Nimes.
Complete Ardéchoise results HERE.
Photos: The DL