Coosto and Alpe d'HuZes: Coosto Warrior Stan

Tariq Verlinden
Creation date: 24/05/2023 17:49
Last updated: 06/06/2023 11:55

Coosto is participating at Alpe d'HuZes 2023!

For years, Coosto has been a proud sponsor of Alpe d'HuZes. A unique sporting event dedicated to one goal: raising as much money as possible for the fight against cancer. 

Every year participants from all over the Netherlands travel to France to climb the Alpe d'Huez several times to raise money. During the first edition in 2006, there were 66 participants who together managed to raise € 370,000. Meanwhile, the Alpe d'HuZes has become so popular that in 2022, 15,000 participants managed to raise over 16 million!

This year, besides being a proud sponsor, Coosto is also a proud participant! Our three Coosto Warriors Toine, Rob and Stan will leave Tuesday, May 30 for France to participate in Alpe d'HuZes 2023 on June 1.

In this blog you can read why Stan is participating and how he is preparing for this great challenge.

Stan's photo

Stan Ansems

Since 2009 I began cycling actively, started on mountain bike but currently I alternate between MTB, road bike and gravel bike. In recent years I have been cycling about 7.5 to 8000 kilometers per year.

Each year I try to make a nice challenge. For instance, a few times I participated in Scherpenheuvel -> Hapert (100 km MTB) and Diekirch -> Valkenswaard (270 km with 3000 altimeters) and last year I cycled the Pieterpad with friends (520 km in 3 days).

The Alpe d'HuZes had been on my list for a long time but had not happened until now.
Fortunately I do not have any close experience with cancer, but everyone has to deal with it directly or indirectly. So the combination of a nice challenge and raising as much money as possible for charity and that on my birthday couldn't be nicer.


The training is going well, for now I stand at 2800 km for this year, I try to incorporate as many altimeters as possible. In Brabant not the easiest of tasks, but the Gulbergen in Nuenen (old landfill and with 62m above sea level the highest point in Brabant) is a nice place to train. I recently rode up 25 times to get 1200 altimeters in one ride in Brabant. Furthermore I try to make nice longer distances, picking up the uniforms in Papendal was a nice trip of 160km via Veldhoven -> Papendal -> Den Bosch (with the train back to Eindhoven). 

During the longer rides I try to pay close attention to nutrition and drinking with energy bars, powders and bananas.

And of course we keep track of everything on Strava and StatsHunters (a side project of myself as a developer).

Help Stan reach his goal and donate here.

De Alpe d'HuZes

Stan start.png

Climb 1

At 04:00 I was already awake and ready to start the ascent. It's still half an hour until the start, and there's already a massive line of people waiting. Everyone has their lights on, even before it has begun, and I find it extremely impressive.

After a long wait, I finally crossed the starting line at 04:47. The first climb was in silence, and since it was so early, it was still dark outside. The route was beautifully illuminated with candles. In every turn, I saw a long string of cyclists, hikers, and runners winding their way up the mountain. It feels good to me, but the climb is steeper than expected. Throughout the climb, I kept my gears in the lowest setting, trying to keep my heart rate below 145. I crossed the finish line at 06:21. It feels like a victory. Almost immediately, I started the first descent. Since it's still early in the morning and the sun hasn't risen yet, it's extremely cold. Descending 14 km with a windbreaker and a jacket, it's cold but enjoyable! Down at the turning point, there's thankfully some hot coffee to warm up.

Toine en Stan pauze.jpg

Climb 2

I take off my rain jacket, and at 07:08, I ride down to the start again. More and more people gather on the mountain to cheer us on. At 08:00, the DJ finally cranks up the volume. Different music in every few turns, the atmosphere is already great early on!

Along the way, I encountered many emotional moments—a group of friends embracing each other by the candles, a woman crying alone on a wall, a man with his son's photo under his saddlebag, and a banner with a picture of a loved one by the road. It sometimes hits you hard. I finished for the second time at 08:36. After a short break, a restroom stop, and refilling my water bottles, I descend again. I grab a soup for some extra salt and then go for it again.

Toine en Stan.png

Climb 3

At 09:31, I started the third climb of the day. The first few turns are still relatively easy, but the higher I go, the harder it becomes. Some pain starts to creep into my calf at turn 5. I can't shift to an easier gear. I keep hydrating, eat an extra energy bar, and hope the pain doesn't escalate.

By turn 2 (counting backward from turn 21 to 1), the pain doesn't matter anymore because the finish line is in sight. Once I cross the finish line, it's 11:02, almost 5 hours of riding, so having lunch sounds like a good idea. I take a longer break with a sandwich, a can of cola, and weigh whether another climb is feasible. Together with Toine, we decided to go for it. We descend together and agree not to wait for each other during the climb, but to go at our own pace.


Climb 4

At 13:22, Toine and I start our final climb. Initially, I pull ahead of Toine, but at one of the last turns, I have to stop to give my legs some rest. I take this opportunity to take some photos. Suddenly, I see Toine, and I immediately get on my bike to ride together for the final climb. At 14:58, we crossed the finish line together for the last time.The entire week was incredibly impressive and a challenge never to be forgotten!

Times & Funds Raised

Opbrengsten Coosto warriors.png

Climb 1: 01:34 hours
Climb 2: 01:27 hours
Climb 3: 01:30 hours
Climb 4: 01:36 hours

Personal contribution: €3,500.00
Total funds raised by Coosto Warriors: €10,982.04