A few pictures below from last weekend’s 2014 Ardechoise. We didn’t race but cycled the routes over three days with about 20 people from the Bourg St Maurice cycling club, Lesley coming along with me to this event for the first time. We split in to groups depending on experience, covering 450km with around 9000m of climbing.

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A stormy Col St Martin

We had a great cycling trip down to the Côte d’Azur by way of the Alps in beautiful weather, other than on the climb up Col St Martin above the town of St Martin Vésubie. We hit the most almighty thunderstorm with hailstones bouncing a metre off the tarmac, the temperature plummeting from 30°C to 9°C inside thirty minutes.

Most of us made it to a restaurant, but a couple of guys in the group got separated, one of them diving into a garage to take shelter, the other, caught in no-man’s land, had to slog his way through and was a little bedraggled by the time he got to us. We all had to be bussed down.

We finished the trip with the same number that we started with, and although some in the UK contingent were apprehensive about climbing Alpine cols, they all put their heads down and kept pedaling.

The major building season marches on and we have several clients visiting in July and August.

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Cycling to the Côte d’Azur via Col de la Bonette

We are going full tilt with building at the moment and just going through the contract signing on a major project.

Away from the office, the cycling season is also well under way – I’ve got a couple of races under my belt already, and one in Megève this Sunday.

Next week I’m cycling down to the South of France with Rob and a group of his UK-based friends. It will be a four-day trip, averaging around 130km sideways and 3000m upwards each day. We’ll be taking in some famous mountain passes including Col de l’Iseran and finishing with Col de la Bonette, the highest road pass in Europe, before we drop down to Monaco. From there we’ll cycle along the Côte d’Azur to Antibes.

Understandably, those in the UK contingent that haven’t previously cycled in the Alps are a little panicky at the prospect of daily climbs that are the equivalent to 18 goes up Box Hill.

On the plus side, the forecast for next week is fantastic, although when I cycled up Col de l’Iseran for a look a few days ago it was still closed and absolutely freezing.

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Bike Ride to Chambéry

Had a good bike ride last Saturday, to Chambéry and back, it was a little on the chilly side though (snowing up in Val d’Isère).

Apologies for the brevity but we have had a lot on this week, and tomorrow we are off for two-weeks holiday – doing some diving and sailing for a change of scenery.

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Spring snow still holding out

The run of fantastic weather has continued this week in the Alps, hard to know whether to get the skis or the bike out.

I’ve had some great ski touring outings with the snow still holding up - the constant freeze/melt/freeze/melt has left it beautiful. It has started to melt way in places and you do have to take the skis off to hop across rocks and grass from time to time, but it is well worth it.

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World Schools Ski Champships

Emily had a good time at the World School Ski Championships in Spain, coming 5th in GS and reducing her overall points (which is the aim).

Have managed a couple of goes on the bike in warm weather (probably a bit too warm) with high cloud this week. The snow is still good, heavy in the afternoon.

A couple of recent pics from ski touring in Sainte Foy below.

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Fantastic Spring Snow

We have had beautiful Spring weather and everyone has been assuming that the snow would turn to slush and disappear, but the skiing conditions have been absolutely unbelievable in the last couple of weeks and still holding out.

Some pics from ski touring on Archeboc in Sainte Foy below (click on a pic to open up gallery) and some from the chalet in Le Crey – the fine weather has allowed us to crack on with the roof.

My dad is out skiing this week, still going strong and even knocking out the odd schuss when he thinks no one’s looking. Quite something having to tell off an eighty-five year old for skiing too fast!

He’s coming with me to cheer Emily on in a FIS race in Meribel on Thursday. She’s off to race in the Sierra Nevada next week, one of three girls representing France in the U18 category.

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Powder and Mont Valezan

Fantastic conditions last weekend, skiing powder in Tignes and climbing Mont Valezan (from which Montvalezan village gets its name) to then ski down the North Face.

Busy week this week and skiing for the next few days with a regular group from the Ski Club of Great Britain.

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Exceptional ski conditions

All Black Sean Fitzpatrick skiing

The Saatchi guys were staying at Chalet Merlo over the last few days and we’ve had some exceptional skiing. All-Black legend Sean Fitzpatrick was also with the group (pictured with me above) and we skied in Sainte Foy this morning. A really top bloke. Shot below is of Rob skiing off-piste behind Sainte Foy.

More snow forecast for tomorrow. Loving it.

off piste behind Sainte Foy

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Downhill in Tignes and the best day

Had some decent snowfall at the start of the week and it cleared up for blue skies yesterday when I was out skiing with clients – probably the best conditions so far this season.

Photo below is of Em in her first ever downhill race. She came 40th, 3.5 secs off the winner.

downhill race Tignes

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