Friday, July 22, 2016

The Alps! - Now We're Closing In On Paris

We're down to the last three days of Le Tour de France and into mountains, mountains and more mountains before Sunday's ride into Paris and the final sprint on the Champ Elysees. Today is massive! After an amazing effort in the time trial yesterday, Chris Froome has extended his lead for the yellow jersey and if he can get through these last two hard days, he'll be standing at the top of the winner's podium in Paris. But ahead of him today stands Mont Blanc - a massive barrier which ends this stage in the French Alps.

There are some serious peaks for the riders today. Just look
at that stage profile. If they can drag themselves over the
big peaks today and do it one more time with a different
set of peaks tomorrow, it will be smooth sailing
into Paris on Sunday. 

They'll be leaving from Albertville, known to fans of the winter Olympics and ending at the very top of Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc. It is anything BUT an easy road, but these are also the stages that are often the most picturesque of the Tour, so today and tomorrow are well worth watching.

In the middle of today's ride they come upon Montee de Bisanne,
an HC peak with some super steep gradients. Ooof! 

The stage ends at the top of Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc.
The beginning climb of this peak is SO steep. This mountain
and this stage have the potential to break the riders
apart even farther. 

So while we deal with the heat for yet another day, I'll be looking at the snowcapped peaks and watching the boys as they wrestle their bikes through a grueling ride. It's a great Friday! Enjoy!

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