Ironman Mont Tremblant Race Report- The Bike


posted by on Ironman, Race Report

The bike was next!!! I felt my training had really prepared me for this bike course and I was anxious to test my fitness. Mentally, I could not have been in a better place to start 112 miles on the bike since I felt great about my swim performance.

Just starting out on the bike and happy to see Tony and Paige!  It was a beautiful day to be on the bike.  So lucky!!!

As you leave transition, Montee Ryan is the first stretch to get you going. I spotted Tony and Paige early on so I was even more ready to tackle my ride. There are some rollers on Montee Ryan but this a good stretch of six or so miles to get your legs bike ready. This stretch also includes a fast descent on a bridge that is designated as a no-passing zone for safety reasons.

Headed out to start the ride

Before I knew it I was at the right turn to highway 117. Since we drove the course I knew this stretch was really going to be a bikers’ dream. Lots and lots of open roadway with no traffic, rolling hills and smooth pavement. It is also an out and back so I knew I would see my teammates along the way.

Riding on Montee Ryan

One key thing I knew I had to keep in mind was to not push the pace too much early on. With the aforementioned conditions I described, this would be easy to do. I planned to keep a constant eye on my power readings to ride smart.

Overall I felt okay with the exception of a spot in my right glute/hammy that is not unusual to creep in. It is more of being slightly uncomfortable and not painful and I don’t think it impacts my power or ability to ride in aero, but still don’t want it to be hanging around. I decided to take an Advil to keep it to a minimum. I also had a slight touch of nausea which was completely unexpected. I was following my Infinit (liquid nutrition) plan as I had done during training, plus the temperature was super nice, so heat was not an issue. I would just carry on as planned getting my water from the aid stations and getting my calories from my Infinit.

There is a turn-around on the highway that takes you back toward town. This out and back section of the course was super. Absolutely nothing to complain about. Plus, one awesome thing that I saw continually on the course, from early on, was the bike support staff that was zooming around the course on mopeds. They had spare wheels on the back and I am sure lots of supplies to change flats and help with mechanicals as needed.

Then there is one small “detour” as you leave 117 through Saint-Jovite and then you end up back on Montee Ryan to take you back to the Village.   You go through the no passing zone again and feel a bit more climbing on the way in that what you encountered going out.

All smiles because I had not yet started the climbs on Duplessis!!

Before knew it, I was at “hot corner” and rode through to start the section that is the toughest stretch of the bike course.   As I previously mentioned, we drove the bike course on Friday so we had some idea of what was coming up, but riding it is a totally different story.   I saw a aid station at the beginning of this out and back and planned to stop here for a bathroom break on the way back if there was not a line. (I really hate having to stop on course, but it is inevitable for me. I at least try to stop when there is not a line so it does not take even more time. )


Duplessis had the toughest climbs, but some of the prettiest landscape

Chenin Duplesis did not disappoint. This was a test of my climbing skills for sure. It was one punchy climb after the next. When I crested one and hoped for a little time to recover the next one was there waiting….recovery??…..ha ha!!!! I just tried to climb these hills as smart as I could because I was not even at the half way point yet. When I hit the turnaround point I was so happy to have gotten through for the first time. Heading back to the Village on Duplesis included the second no-passing zone. (For those that might not be familiar, these no-passing zones are designated as such for safety reasons. It is a section of descent where the speeds can be quick and to minimize risk to other athletes, no passing can occur in this area or it can result in an automatic disqualification.   Theses zones are short so the potential loss of time is essentially non existent.)

Before my planned stop at the aid station, I tried to change screens on my Garmin to check some other data point (I don’t even remember what I was trying to see) and I hit the wrong button by mistake.   I hit the lap button which automatically sent it to Transition 2 mode…..crap!!!!!!! Stupid me! That is the last thing I wanted to do. So then I was just trying to figure out what to do to be able to continue seeing what I needed to on my watch for the second half of my ride, my upcoming run but also total time for the race overall.

After my stop at the aid station (no line thankfully so pretty quick break time wise), I took my watch out of triathlon mode after mentally noting my overall time) and started bike only mode. This was not that big of a deal, but for my type A, data junkie self, it was annoying. But if this was the worse thing that would happen, I could deal.

At the bike course turn-around

56 miles to go!

Right turn off Duplesis at hot corner to hit the bike course turnaround point. I saw Tony and Paige and did my mental check to start lap 2 for another 56 miles. Special needs was coming up soon and I knew I had to stop there to pick up two more bottles of Infinit.   Luckily, the volunteer that grabbed my bag (they called out my number as I approached) was awesome. I stopped, he opened the bag, I grabbed what I needed and was quickly off again. I didn’t even have to dismount my bike.  Nice!!!!

Having two laps of the course allows you to know exactly what is coming up. I was generally feeling okay overall and my fueling plan was pretty much going according to plan. I just needed to keep doing what I was doing.

Lap 2 on Montee Ryan


Thankfully, it was a fairly smooth lap 2.  As was confirmed on the first loop, the stretch out on 117 is a really fantastic section of a great bike course and I really tried to enjoy the scenery and take it all in.

On the way back up 117, there is a longish steady climb that keeps you honest. I felt this way more than during the first loop.  At the top of this climb was a aid station and I noticed that there seemed to be no waiting for a bathroom break, so I took full advantage of trying for a quick pit stop.  Right before I mounted my bike I saw Bill buzz by on course.  I had seen him out a few times as well as most of the others and the hometown team was looking good!

Headed back toward the Village during lap 2

As I headed back toward the Village, I knew what was in store for me…another pass on Duplessis.  Oh boy, the first time was tough and with 100 miles on the legs, I knew the second was going to be a real treat!!

Ready to tackle Duplessis a second time!

My plan was the same…to just ride smart and stay as mentally strong as the climbs as possible.

These Views!!

I won’t lie…it was hard, so hard, but I got the work done.  My legs felt every one of those punchy climbs.  On the ride out from this out and back, I was getting more and more excited about almost being done with my bike leg and feeling like I had a good ride.  Going into the race, I felt that I should be able to ride this course in less than 6.5 hours, and I knew in those final miles that I had exceeded that mark.  However, I had started thinking about the run coming up and the challenge still ahead of me.

Official Bike Time per Ironman

Once I got into T2 in the changing tent, I was handling the logistics of my gear and as well as mentally preparing myself to start the run.  I had a little nauseous feeling, as well as now and again during the bike, which was surprising due to the history with my fueling during training, but I headed out to get it going.  After a quick pit stop before exiting the transition area, I saw Bill as he was headed out on the run.  We exchanged comical greetings and I was right behind him and he was looking strong  (after the race we learned that our bike times were one second apart…even considering we did most of our long rides together, that’s crazy).

Official T2 Time

26.2 miles coming up and whether or not if I felt ready to tackle it, I was going out to give it my all!



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