You may have already met this or this cyclist who rushes headlong into Paris.
You then imagined that he was late.
He or she rides fast for glory and triumph.
"La gloriole" laughs Samuel on the handlebars of his fixie... In the greatest secrecy of laymen, these cyclists participate in a world record hunt... The quest for KOM/QOM, a digital yellow crown which rewards the best global.
The person who has had the best time on a specific stretch of road, called a "segment" on the Strava application, thus becomes the King of the Mountain (KOM) for men or the Queen of the Mountain (QOM) for women. women.
True DNA of Strava which claims 100 million users worldwide, the KOM/QOM has become a motivational tool for all cyclists.
To the point of being akin to a form of addiction for some.
Many cycling enthusiasts admit it, sometimes half-heartedly: at the end of each outing, they log on and scrutinize the results.
“It's pretty cool to think that you're the fastest girl in Paris on a segment,” explains Zoé at the top of rue de Belleville, where she holds the QOM.
“It's for fun.
In sport we advance like that, we like to have personal progress but also in relation to others, ”deciphers this triathlon practitioner.
"The KOM is often a goal, it's also a point of pride", summarizes Nicolas Gervais.
This cyclist from the Paris Cycliste Olympique club and YouTuber himself has a fine collection.
From virtual to real, there is only one turn of the wheel.
These awards allow the best to gain notoriety.
And not just any… Jonas Vingegaard, the last winner of the Tour de France was spotted by his team thanks to his performance on the application.
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KOM can also be a source of frustration.
The champion of a night, haloed in yellow suddenly becomes the second, his crown snatched by a faster, more strategic or lucky cyclist.
Strava has understood this well: the KOMs are a perpetual competition.
“When you lose the KOM, you receive an email from Strava that says: you have been dethroned!
With the name of the person who took it from you,” laughs Nicolas Gervais.
At the top of rue de Crimée, on the edge of the Parc des Buttes Chaumont (19th century), Raphaël has just had his KOM stolen, within two seconds.
“We have to go back up there.
We have to go back in front, he motivates himself, looking at his phone screen.
It will do it, we will try it again every week!
On the security side, the application discards itself on its community.
"Strava provides the platform for locals to create the segments," explains Gregory Vermersch of Strava France.
We therefore rely on the community to bring up those who are dangerous.
We then deactivate the rankings on those that pose a problem.
But there are still at least two places where KOM hunters have a great time in complete legality... The rings of the Parisian bike: Longchamp on the Bois de Boulogne side to the west and the Polygone in the Bois de Vincennes to the is.
Since its creation in 2019, Strava has registered 30,000 cyclists on the Longchamp ring and 20,000 on the Polygone.
The maximum lap speed is incredible 58 km/h at Longchamp and 52 km/h on the polygon.
At Longchamp, the boss is Samuel, also known as the Black metal rider, founder of the group the Suicidal Urban Riders.
They rush all in black around the ring to defend the KOM.
On the Polygon, Pascal Larnicol, 53, continues to bring down virtual rewards.
“I'm among the old, I'm still hanging on!
“, this regular, hailed by many cyclists, remains modest.
“I have been driving between 15 and 20,000 km per year on this little triangle, for 15 years.
We go far in suffering to try to hold the peloton!
“Last Thursday, during “la tartine” as he calls it, Pascal again broke all records with ten KOMs won… at 48 km/h!
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