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Explore Corsica is a unique concept that combines a boat cruise and a multi-day cyclosportive around the beautiful island of Corsica.
The event is hosted by the organisers of the Tour de France and allows amateur cyclists to replicate the feeling of what it would be like to ride in the Tour de France. The 2018 Explore Corsica will be the second year of this fantastic cyclosportive, so we look back on last years race and give you an insight from the perspective of two of our customers who competed in 2017 and what it was like to participate in a cyclosportive like no other.
The two customers who this post features are brothers, Marcus and Nicholas Fink who rode the 2017 Explore Corsica with us.
Marcus and Nicholas knew previously that the race had timed elements, they had done their research finding out that each stage had a rouleur section and a timed climb. They emphasised that the event had a good mixture of serious and casual riders which meant that you could make it as competitive as you wanted it to be. So if you feel like getting a the breakaway, hiding in the peloton to save your energy for a sprint finish or riding at a more leisurely pace to allow you to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Corsica, you can.
Marcus and Nicholas both really enjoyed the competitive element and felt this really enhanced their own individual experience. With the timed sections providing the competition on each stage, the organisers would then use the results to provide Yellow Jersey (GC), Green Jersey (Sprinter), Polka Dot (King of the Mountains classifications) and even age bracket classifications. There was also stage classification, just like the Tour du France. All of these would be closely monitored and provided excellent talking points on each day of the trip.
“The staff were helpful and always had smiles on their faces.”
Marcus and Nicholas thought that staying on a cruise with fellow riders was an excellent way of developing camaraderie and gave them an opportunity to meet new cyclists. They also felt that the cruise concept made it easier than previous multi-day cyclosportives they had been on because all kit remains on the ferry rather than transporting it from place to place.
According to Marcus and Nicholas the standard of riding was very good. Serious riders tended to start at the front and because each route would start with a tough climb out of the port, a degree of natural selection would occur. Groups would form over the stage depending on ability and competitive desires. A crucial factor that helped the flow of the race was the “ride captains” who were spread out within the peloton, many of whom were current or ex-professionals. The ride captains helped keep order and provided excellent insight and tips throughout the race.
Both Marcus and Nicholas said they would ride again, adding that the starts and finishes were by far the easiest and most efficient they had encountered, with no time spent waiting around. They also enjoyed riding alongside ex-professionals such as Cadel Evans and Frank Schleck. With regards to the food stations the brothers highlighted that they were strategically placed and were always well stocked, which provided help when you needed it most. The support staff were really helpful throughout the race and they said that this level of help made them feel like professional cyclists riding the Tour de France!
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