It’s the furthest I’ve ever raced and the highest I’ve ever climbed and there was plenty of suffering. The official race results haven’t been declared yet as there were so many competitors but I did it in 8 hours and 17 mins. Not as good as I’d hoped but it was a hot day and quite a few of the guys came in around 11 hours.
The 5000m climb is the equivalent of rising from sea level to the summit of Mont Blanc. The last section of the race was torture – a 1000m climb into Alpe d’Huez in the blazing sunshine.
I’m told that on such a beautiful day the cols were a thing to behold but I couldn’t see through the cascades of sweat going into my eyes.
Anyway, I did it. I have been on the bike this week but the legs weren’t working very well. Guess it’ll take a while to recover.
The guys from the Bethel Cycle Club in the US start arriving tomorrow for their cycle camp stay at Chalet Merlo. One of the guys wants to have a go at the time trial over the col in Val d’IsÃ¨re on Sunday, and then on Tuesday the whole group will be cycling from Chalet Merlo to Col de la Madeleine to watch Le Tour fizz past on the hors categorie climb.
The guys have a contact in the Liquigas team so on Wednesday we’ll cycle from Albertville to ChambÃ©ry and we’ll get to hang out in their start area and meet the cyclists. Really looking forward to the whole week.
Tonight, my son and I are going up into the mountains on our motorbikes with a tent to do a bit of wild camping – he wants to take his catapult and we’ll light a fire, but we’ll more likely be heating up a tin of spag bol than roasting a freshly-shot marmot.