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haute route alps
Last Post 09/06/2015 12:47 PM by Nicholas Arenella. 39 Replies.
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Orange Crush

Posts:2015

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08/19/2015 03:58 PM
Not quite yet, check in Sat then race start in Nice Sun. But I am hanging out in France and it is inching ever closer.

Hooked up with my friend Uli today for final relaxing ride, 107kms w double Ventoux ascent.

http://ridewithgps.com/routes/6730063

After a suitably late 10am start we rocked the first 21km climb from Malaucene effortlesly zipping past countless fellow cyclists. It was too cold and windy up top for any formalities so we headed straight down from the moonscape into the protective tree cover. The top and road down to Bedoin were a madhouse of cyclists struggling their way up which made for tricky descending.

Once down we headed east towards Sault over de Col des Abeilles, a 10km climb that on paper didn't look like much but just kept on going ridge after ridge. Beautiful riding on tertiary roads, France at its best.

Lunch Pizza Provencale in Sault, a scenic hilltop town. Then off for the final 26km climb. By now the Mistral was blowing like crazy which variably worked for and against us. At some point on the climb we clocked from 20-30km per hour going uphill. Then on the final moonscape part of the ascent it was full on head and side wind. Hard to keep a speed above 7kph and trying not to pull an Andy getting blown of the mountain. Again no formalities, it was too brutal to hang out up top. The entire downhill back to Malaucene continued to be a battle against the Mistral.

Ended the ride feeling there was still significant gas left in the tank. Learned that there's actually a triple crown to be had here, all three ascents of Ventoux in one day. The Rapha boys came by here recently and did it. It seemed well within reach today but alas not timely; this was meant to be a taper ride with only 3500 m vertical.

Good vibes after this ride, the average speed we've been clocking on mountain rides and freshness after them bodes reasonably well for next week although day to day recovery on a 7 day event is hard to predict. Definitely feeling like I'm in the shape of a lifetime at the moment.
ChinookPass

Posts:809

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08/19/2015 04:37 PM
eat
pedal
eat
rest
get 'er done!
smokey52

Posts:250

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08/19/2015 05:54 PM
"I'm in the shape of a lifetime at the moment." It seems like you are in the moment of a lifetime, with lots of preparation. Have fun and keep the wheels on the road. Post when you get a chance. Vicarious thrills.
Orange Crush

Posts:2015

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08/20/2015 02:14 AM
Here's that triple crown: http://www.clubcinglesventoux.org/en/rules.html
Orange Crush

Posts:2015

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08/20/2015 09:22 AM
Just looking at Garmin Connect segments for Ventoux. Looks like we were around 8th percentile on both climbs; not too shabby for taking it easy.

Weather for next week should be good except Queen Stage Monday will be hit by Atlantic storm with freezing level dropping to 3200m and wet snow possible down to 3000m. Top of Bonnette is at 2800m so this could be interesting.
thinline

Posts:238

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08/21/2015 01:28 PM
" . . . a taper ride with only 3500 m vertical."

That's almost comical!

Good luck, have fun, ride safely. And, reports please!
Orange Crush

Posts:2015

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08/22/2015 06:42 AM
Checked in for race today right on the beach (kinda like Vuelta :-) Fancy bikes galore. I'll likely be the only one riding around without some performance measuring device.

Then drove to hotel through a maze of one way streets. The only way to find parking is park illegal. I love driving in Europe, its in the genes.

Bloody hot and hectic. Can't wait to get on bike tomorrow and get out of this place into mountains.
Dale

Posts:953

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08/22/2015 05:53 PM
animal... just and animal.
longslowdistance

Posts:1499

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08/22/2015 08:47 PM
It's a Dutch thing.
Orange Crush

Posts:2015

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08/24/2015 01:22 PM
Update from Stage 1 and 2. The good news is I am stiil alive and making time cuts after two exceedingly hard days in saddle, which many cannot say after today. The other good news is that weather will turn for better for remainder of week. The bad news is that limited pics may be forthcoming as my camera died in epic weather today. Those on FB can see some pics of me during each stage posted by organizer to my page. Below a copy paste of FB reports for friends and fam.

Done Day 1, 125k and 3350 m climbing. The cols weren't too hard but the long uphill drags through two valleys were very sapping. Weather alternated between showers and light rain, cold to muggy. Tricky descending but that went well. Not so good was a light touch of wheels in on of valleys leading to a minor crash and some scrapes. Now rest and recovery for Queen stage tomorrow with more wet in forecast.

Stage 2 was brutal, 150k and 3950 m climbing over 3 cols in epic weather conditions. Went out dressed for a Vancouver winter ride. Feeling boiling hot on the lower slopes of the Bonnette and also had eaten too much so suffering like a dog from the start. But by the time we reached the upper portions of the climb and for remainder of ride all those layers came in handy. Donned a tuque and winter gloves for all descents. Suffering again on the Var, feld like puking the entire way and was seeing stars in the end. Somehow managed to reload for the 20k uphill valley drag to base of Izoard and the final climb. Pooring rain and thunder the entire way up Izoard. A lot of wretched cold people at top and everyone seemed to be descending at gingerly pace. I was feeling toasty and the descend was riproaring fun like the others of day. Finished off with a fast 10k drag out to finish.
ChinookPass

Posts:809

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08/24/2015 04:22 PM
Now you know you are committed when you crash and just bounce right back up. Glad to hear the weather is turning for the better.
SideBySide

Posts:428

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08/24/2015 05:01 PM
FYI, the results are at:

http://www.timing4you.com/direct/hauteroutealpes_2015/fichier/resultats.php
longslowdistance

Posts:1499

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08/24/2015 08:08 PM
Very cool, very impressive.

Love some of the clever team names like "Col Play".
Orange Crush

Posts:2015

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08/24/2015 11:39 PM
Somewhat disappointed in performance to date, haven't been able to come close to Ventoux performance. Spending way too much time in 34x32. In comparison training I rode similar grades in 34x25. Maybe its the weather or the rich French food, who knows. Anyway making cuts so far and the scenery is awesome so all good. 12.4k iTT at 9% today! Gonna treat it as a rest day w tomorrow's 168k, 4200 m stage 4 coming up.
SideBySide

Posts:428

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08/25/2015 12:11 PM
A one thousand meter of climbing rest ray, too funny!
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