Saturday, 10 July 2010
Tonight's posting will be short because after the epic ride today I'm tired and I want to get off to sleep. The day, as the major Alpine stage, was always going to be difficult but to be honest I thought things were going pretty well for me, until I hit the Col de la Madeleine that is, all thirty odd kilometres of it.
The weather had been threatening for some time and a huge thunderstorm finally broke when I was about 3-4km from the summit. Under normal circumstances I would have stopped ascending ages earlier as it was obvious what was going to happen but these are not ordinary circumstances so I had to press on.
Finally made it to the summit, it was freezing and hail was coming down and there were huge crashes of thunder and forked lightening, it was like a scene from hell, or what I imagine hell to be like anyway. The descent was awful and I just took my time and stayed safe and finally arrived at the bottom, frozen stiff.
The main thing is that my tour is still on track but I'm a bit concerned about exactly how much today will have taken out of me, I guess I'll find out tomorrow. For the moment it's on with the SKINS C400 recovery gear, some sleep, and hope for the best tomorrow.
Thanks to everyone for the messages of support both on here and on Twitter. I read them all as they are delivered to my phone via email and they really mean a lot. Unfortunately due to restricted time and a lack of Internet access I can't reply very often.
Photographs from Today:
Dropping into Cluses this morning.
En route to the Col de la Colombiere
Two road signs at a junction. To the left the torture of the Col de la Madeleine, to the right a charming village I'm sure. I showed my age here and turned left towards the Col de la Madeleine ;-)
Hot and humid early on but then clouded over. Huge storm hit the Col de la Madeleine whilst I was on the top of it. Thunder, lightening, hail and driving rain. The descent from the col was truly ghastly.
Ride Time: 12:10 hh:mm
Ride Distance: 126 miles
Elevation Gain: Approximately 15,000 feet
Average Speed - True: 10.36mph