Guy Brulon embarked on an XXL raid. At 69, he has just completed the French Divide, a 2-kilometer journey through France.
IIt only took him 14 days, 3 hours and 36 minutes to reach the Spanish border from the Belgian border, as part of the French Divide 2020. A real feat for Guitou, as his friends from the VTTranzault club call him. The 2270-year-old won his bet by covering 32 kilometers and 000 meters of elevation gain in less than 15 days. The French Divide is an ultra bikepacking adventure, “Without assistance on the most beautiful gravel and mountain bike trails in France. Its route largely follows the road to Saint-Jacques de Compostelle ”. 18% of road, 82% of path and 100% of surpassing oneself! Some consider it the most difficult race in France
“A sort of French Great Divide. Connect the Franco-Belgian border to the Franco-Spanish border. A road trip on the borderline between cyclo-cross and mountain biking using the GR of Saint-Jacques de Compostelle and of course in total autonomy. "
Feedback on an extraordinary raid
Guy, the veteran of the 5th edition of French Divide, made a remarkable start at Bray-Dunes on July 6 at 6 a.m. He had already completed 30 kilometers by the end of the first day. He will continue alone. The two English competitors who took the start on the same day as him will not catch up with him. The route first led it to the Grand-Est along the Belgian and Luxembourg border. He then joined Troyes. The descent to the south continued through the Massif Central towards the Pyrenees. Finally, the arrival was made in Mendionde. The French Divide is a fight against time, sleep and fatigue. No assistance is tolerated, including for the nights which sometimes take place under the starry sky. Asked by journalists from the Nouvelle République, Guitou evokes his nights of rest.
“For accommodation, I try to go to the hotel a few times, in order to have a good rest, otherwise the nights are spent under the stars and even in the… toilets. "
A "personal and mental" challenge
The incredible cyclist soon in his seventies caused a sensation on the course. " This is a real personal and mental challenge because in the first four editions, only half of the participants were able to reach the Basque Country ”. And this is not his first feat, since in 2018, he had already achieved the border tour of France by bike. 7 kilometers traveled with his friend Pierrick Jampy, but also their mascot Dino.
Genesis of the French Divide challenge
In recent years, many ultra long distance mountain bike races have flourished all over Europe. Naturaid in Sardinia, Italy Divide, Alpi Del Mare Trail, Bear Bones in Wales, CAT 700 in Spain and Highland Trail in Scotland. But no French initiative had been taken until Samuel and Lionel organizes a “little bike trip with friends”. They simply wanted "to experience a common challenge each at their own level", a crossing of France by road ... Immediate success for this challenge inspired by its American cousin, the Great Divide which crosses part of Canada and the United States from Calgary to the Mexican border ...
This summer, a hundred or so adventurers will set off on the roads of France to achieve the same feat of Guitou. You might meet them ...