Friday, July 8, 2016

Le Tour Day Seven - Finally MOUNTAINS!

Today is the 7th stage of Le Tour de France and we're finally in the mountains. We have the first of three days in and around the Pyrenees starting today so the sprinters just have to hang on for the ride while the King of the Mountain jersey is the garment of contention. It'll be some hard riding and Monday's Rest Day won't come soon enough. Here's what we're riding through today.

Today's stage starts out kind and easy, but ends up rough and hard.
Both the start and finish points are new to the Tour. In between
them lies an iconic peak - the Col d'Aspin. 

Yeah - look at that peak near the end. It's one that's well known and respected on Le Tour - the Col d'Aspin. Just look at that grade (below). Ooof! The riders will start to drop when they hit this mountain and it's just the start of three days before a short hop over to the Jura mountains, and a stunning and hard finish with two days in the Alps. Oh yeah! These are the stages that I watch Le Tour for. These are the stages that will crack the riders and open up huge gaps of time.

The Col d'Aspin is a beast of a mountain - as 12 km
climb with slopes as steep as 9.5%. Then a steep
descent brings the riders to a small ascent for the
finish line. The road will be narrow and packed with
fans cheering on the riders. I love the Pyrenees. 

The storms that were predicted for us passed over us and never really got going. I'm totally fine with that. A lot of cleanup has already occurred, but there are still large trees that are probably on some weekend "honey do" lists. Here's hoping you have a glorious Friday. I'll be watching the boys on their bikes after my morning mile in the swimming pool. Oh boy - the Pyrenees! I'm so HAPPY!

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