Our teams in the 24-hour Le Mans cycle race

2021, August 28-29

Written by Lou Ancelin
What cyclist hasn't ever dreamt of meeting the 24-hour Le Mans challenge? Created in 2009, this famous cycling race in relay teams of 2, 4, 6 or 8 runners, also a single-handed racing, is a human and sporting adventure, open to everyone, that brings together every year, at the end of August, thousands of men and women, of all ages, sporting levels and countries. 

The race will take place on the legendary Bugatti circuit, 4185 m long, with 7 bends, a 600 m climb of 3.5% to 7% between the pit stops and the Dunlop bridge, followed by a 1000 m descent of  2%. This closed circuit is fully lit at night.

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Les Manufactures Février on the start line 
As every year, the group organized teams of volunteers within the factories and took over the logistics. 24 brave athletes answered the call, in an age range from 24 to 58 years old, which allowed to form 4 teams of 6, plus our solo racer Evens Stievenard. They all ran under the Hellio banner.

Our 5 TecSOM comrades, all bicycle lovers, came back home full of joy and delighted with their sporting adventure! They wished to share their impressions with us.

Teddy Lescure
"The most important thing for me, was to see how much the participants surpassed themselves to cross the finish line, after 24 hours of racing. Beyond that, I was impressed by the strength, courage and selflessness of some senior athletes, men and women, who braved the 4.2 km of this circuit, during a clock trick! Respect!"

Eric Delat
"I love competition, despite my age, so for me it was just fun! What impressed me the most was that each participant in our teams really gave themselves to the fullest of their abilities. I hope next year we'll do it again!"

Pascal Sauvegrain
"I really enjoyed meeting my colleagues outside of work around this common passion and also to ride on the mythical Le Mans circuit with some other bicycle lovers coming from different backgrounds, as well as with professionals. The organization was great: logistics, food, health with an osteopath physiotherapist. I also enjoyed riding safely at night, something that rarely happens in everyday life!"

Lionel Kiefer
"This is a race that offers a variety of sensations, both individually and collectively, because we race for a team but we are alone on the track. I really appreciated the team spirit that increases everyone’s motivation! Actually the chain of relays is exhausting and getting up in the middle of the night to put out an intense physical effort during an hour or more, requires a great deal of will. For the memories, I will hold the applause of teammates, or strangers, on the edge of the track which give courage. And also the little help I was able to give to some solo riders, lending my wheel on their last kilometers, so they could rest a little."

Paulo De Freitas
"What has meant most to me is the cohesion of the team, everyone at the same rank, and also to share an activity with my colleagues outside of work. We are less serious, more relaxed and this allows us to show other facets of our personality. I will keep as a memory these 2 days of fun, complicity and tiredness also, because of the sleepless night and the effort provided, that we spent together. I was impressed by the outperformance of some of us, despite injuries. I am very proud of our final ranking, which remains honourable compared to the high level of the competing teams."

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