The great Olympic spirit says that it's more important to participate then to win. That's is so wise and so true, but only when I finish within 8 hours of departure.
The reward for setting a really good time: A Golden Diploma (hear the sound of a church choir in the background). There also seem to be silver and bronze diploma's. I'm not really interested in those. I'm going for the brevet d'or. This still is a race you know.
Former winners of this race have proven to be exceptionally good cyclists. For instance: in 1992 the winner was the young Laurent Brochard, a guy who became a well known professional cyclist. That year the Marmotte was an extreme adventure: very cold and heavy rains. Thousands of cyclists didn't make it to the finish. A lot of heroic stories were made that day.
This link will show you the route of the Marmotte.
My Golden Time Schedule..
Le depart de la Marmotte is at 7 AM. As I'm in the third group I''ll probably pass the starting line around 7:10 AM. And then fly like the wind to the first climb to get into a good position. The time schedule I'm going for is set to pass the finishline within 8 hours. That's 177 km with an average speed of 22.125 km/h. Including pit stops. So I really have to give it my best shot and hope that the weather is good.
09:15 Col de la Croix de Fer
11:00 Col du Telegraph
12:30 Col du Galibier
13:30 Start climbing the Alpe d'Huez
Latest finish time for a brevet d'or: 15:49 (when the starting time is 07:00).