Well, for some, that was a very long day in the saddle. Only 96 miles but four huge cols to get over… The Aubisque – straight out of the hotel, The Tourmalet, Aspin and Peyresourde. Over 16,000ft on one day.
I managed the Aubisque and the col after it and got to the lunch stop, but by that time the state of my knee meant that any pressure on they pedal was painful – and even the incline up to Bareges had me in my lowest gear. Knowing that the Tourmalet was ahead, the only way I would make it was in the van.
We passed a young lad who we met again at the top, an eleven year old from Derbyshire called Zack. He waited patiently for his mum who appeared 15mins later but became a minor celebrity in that short time.
A huge climb into fog and rain and a cold descent afterwards meant that the lads didn’t get there till gone 4pm. With two big cols to go there was only time for a quick slice of pizza and some cakes before pushing immediately up the col d’Aspin – the highlight of the day as we had clear air and dry roads. The best descent of the trip so far.
A quick water refill and then the Peyresourde… By the time the last riders rolled in the light had gone.
No detours today and still the day finished for the riders at 8pm.