Thursday, 4 July 2013

Which mountain day was toughest?

Which of the three mountain days was toughest?

1. 70km including the HC 1300m ascent of Tourmalet with endless miles grinding against 8-10% gradients in baking heat.

2. 93km including 1900m of climbing over 3 cols (Aspin (C2), Peyresourde (C1), Portillon (C2)), but with brutal sections on Portillon up to 17.8%.

3. 123km including *two* HC climbs totalling 2100m of climbing over 43km. (Bonaigua, Cantó).

Well, it depends who you are.

For me it was Tourmalet. The only day my legs, mind and body were shot. One or two K's at a brutal gradient is OK. But five, six, seven ... especially with "the wrong cogs on".

For John, Tourmalet was a short day, but the endless, monotonous upward grind of Bonaigua + Cantó, and over 50km more cycling, made Day 3 the worst.

For Pete and Adam, it was Day 2. Adam felt sick all day (after effects of Tourmalet?). For both, the progressively tougher climbs, especially the ugly sections of Portillon, together with the surprise 250m ascent to our finish in Vielha, made this the hardest.

Sign on Tourmalet - 9% average for next K

Top of Cantó after a long slog

This is how it feels after Portillon

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