Sometime Velo Vietnam guide Claude Perzo is a man known for extreme cycling, but he took it to a new level on September 16 with a brutally hard ride from Hanoi to Sapa via Dien Bien Phu. Photos courtesy of Claude and Quan.
Claude rode 720km with over 10,000m of climbing. The total elapsed time for the ride was 40:23:67, beginning on the Wednesday and ending in the early hours of Friday.
We first spoke to Claude on the Friday morning when he told us “I finished at 2am – very importantly, not destroyed”. Later we had chance to ask him a little more about his massive day in the saddle….
What inspired you to do this ride?
My ability to complete long rides coupled with the feeling of my body ‘making waves’ after 200km. I am a big fan of other long distance riders’ performances.
Photograph: Claude at the start with the T2 Cycling Open club flags. He had a support car from the club, plus other members riding parts of the route with him.
What was the most difficult part?
Near Lai Chau where there were many climbs and the weather was incredibly hot. Also for the last climb to Sapa, it was terrible with heavy rain all the way and it got very cold. (Note Claude did not choose an easy day for this ride – the weather was extremely warm from the outset with our Garmin reading 42 degrees near Hanoi – VV)
What was your nutrition?
No gel. No sport drinks. Instead potatoes with pork, cereal bars, hand made sticky rice, apples, bananas – real food.
How were you feeling the day after?
Only a little pain in the legs. I expected it would take about 2 days to recover.
What was the equipment set up?
My Bianchi Specialissima. Bora 50 wheels. Victoria Graphene Tubulars. A 53×34 (that’s not a typo) and 11-32. Selle Italia SLR Tecno Carbon.
Importantly, an extra battery to connect to my Garmin 1000.
Claude on his Everesting of Tam Dao mountain, near Hanoi
The route map from Claude’s Strava
The key stats from Strava – if you’re wondering why it looks a bit different, it’s because here at Velo Vietnam we add SAUCE FOR STRAVA!
To learn more about the man and now definitely, the myth, the legend – read our previous Q and A with him