Friday, 5 July 2013

T5: Bourg St Maurice to Val d'Isere

Basically today was a rest day after 3 days of big climbs. We were greeted with the expected rain, light at times and solid at others. Mother Nature was kind enough to give us light spit to start our ascent of Col de l'Iseran. As all my cycling buddies know, it's fine (well kinda) to get caught out in a shower or get wet on the ride once you are out and warm - but starting in the rain relatively, we were lucky. 

Now having said rest day, it was straight into climbing: 1,100m in 35k. And most of that vert was gained in 15k. 

There wasn't much to see because the low cloud had closed right in. But it was still beautiful and really different riding in the rain.  

Now this is a climb that suits me. Lots of 4-7%, pinches of 9%, and little breaks at 3%. I found my legs and they were strong. In fact I put more than 15 minutes into the group and found it easy to stay on top of the gears. So much so that I got to use the big dog quite a bit...especially in the last 4k to bring it home. 35km/h uphill, in a tunnel, on roads used for the Tour - that ALWAYS feels cool!

As I hit the tunnels, I could not help but think of all those hovering helo images of the lead climbers breaking away in the Tour and Phil Liggett apologising for the momentary loss of picture. Iconic stuff. 

For the connoisseurs among you, you may notice the short black socks. Now I have been riding to date in Bike Culture socks of appropriate length - but they are white. And everyone knows, you do not wear white socks on rainy days unless you want to end up with grey socks. I mean, c'mon, I'm on tour - there's no freakin Sards and Napisan in these ere parts.  
I was a cold, wet, frozen footed, but very happy KOM. The temperature had dropped 1 degree for every 100m gained. I can not imagine how cold those poor bastards were in the Giro this year. At least for me it was still 6 degrees at the top - and it wasn't snowing! 

A hot shower was heaven. Quick Skype home and then down to the pub to watch le Tour. As I write, OGE are on the front defending Gerro's yellow and at 30k to go, there are 4 still up the road with 3 minutes. C'MON GREENEDGE!!

See the ride HERE!

BTW - Greenedge kept Gerro in yellow. What a tour!!

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