Those of you following me on Strava may already have seen that I’m “tapering” this week.
I actually have no idea how to do that properly, but as it’s hot and the outlook is the same for next week in France, I’m also getting adapted to the heat.
Today and tomorrow, I will enjoy watching the pros’ Tour de France stages passing close to and even through Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, where we have booked our apartment.
Both these days are going to be tough, like most of the stages I’ve planned for myself.
Although most of them are quite short, the altimeter gain in each is scary 😎
Today’s stage will pass through the Maurienne valley from north to south, climbing the “detour” Lacets de Montvernier, followed by the Télégraphe / Galibier, before ending the stage with the climb up the Granon.
I’ve done all of these myself, albeit not in that order and on the same day.
I particularly remember the Granon from my Tour de France 2017 (stage 5) as a very hard climb.
When I cycled up that one (in September) it was cold and near freezing at the summit, but if it’s sunny and hot, that open climb will be a real problem for many, even for pros.
Then tomorrow, they will start in Briançon, get over the Galibier / Télégraphe via de Col du Lautaret, climb the Croix de Fer starting in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne and end with the infamous Alpe d’Huez.
While they reach the Galibier’s summit twice, today’s passage is set as the TDF’s highest col, with the accompanying “Souvenir Henri Desgrange”, the “Cima Coppi” of the TDF.
They will also pass a monument in Henri’s honor near the summit of the Galibier.
Alpe d’Huez is not nearly as tough as the Granon but also that one is bound to be a hell if it’s hot again.
From my 10 ascends, some 7 have been really hard due to the high temperatures – close to 40 degrees in the valley – with little to no shade from the burning sun.
Which, compared to the ten thousand climbs Amir did last year July, is actually peanuts 😂