Alpe d’Huez

Ah yes, Alpe d’Huez…

What could I possibly add to the many, many pages dedicated to this particular climb, one that’s on the bucket list of nearly every cyclist who dares to venture into the Alps?

A climb that is imprinted into the memory of Tour de France followers as being ‘pivotal’ in many a stage, if not decisive to the overall win.

Which, at the time of posting this page and looking at the ‘hard evidence’, has only been the case in 7 out of the 29 times the Alpe has been included in the TDF…

On 6 more occasions, the yellow jersey switched shoulders after the stage, but the TDF was eventually won by another rider.

Only Greg Lemond and Stephen Roche were able to turn the table again: after losing the yellow on the Alpe, they eventually still won the GC.

Despite it’s fame, it’s not even the highest or the hardest climbs in the area and it’s not particularly beautiful.

Don’t get me wrong: it’s a tough climb and it offers some great views, but looking at other climbs nearby, I would give a higher rating to the Croix de Fer, Col du Sabot and La Bérarde.

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Cycling the Alps

Coming from a basically pancake-flat country – he actually lives below sea level, on the world’s largest artificial island – it’s amazing how much Cyclopaat likes cycling the Alps.

Even on a good day, he’s an average climber at best, but he claims it’s all about the views.

That is, he isn’t bad at it, but as he’s insane, he cycles multiple passes every day, for up to two weeks.

If he would just tackle one or two at the time and take a day off in between, or at least once or twice, he’d probably make more of an impression.

So, more often than not he barely makes it up another (famous) mountain pass, returning afterwards to his apartment half past dead, only to prepare himself to take yet another beating the next day.

It’s anybody’s guess what might be going on in that head of his, but he seems to be determined to ‘conquer’ every single climb he can find while cycling the Alps.

Or maybe that should read ‘be conquered by’… He likes to call it “grinta”, which probably is Italian for idiot 1, as they are quite often shouting that at him while he’s out there…

This destructive desire doesn’t allow for basic things like a ‘rest day’ once in a while.

“I WILL REST WHEN I’M DEAD!” is his standard answer to pleas to DO have a rest day every now and then…

Despite his efforts, during every cycling the Alps trip he discovers many more climbs for him to die on, so the list of links on this page to the reports of his insane expeditions will most likely continue to grow.

1 Yes, he does know it’s means grit, determination. Just pretend you think it’s funny, okay?

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Alpe d’HuZes 2012

On this page you can find all information about my participation in the Alpe d’HuZes challenge 2012, Bike Rebel WITH a cause for once.

(Nederlandse versie hier)

What is it?

Alpe d’HuZes is an initiative to raise funds for cancer research; the participants help fight cancer by cycling up the Alpe d’Huez a maximum if six times one day. They raise funds by finding sponsors that are willing to donate money; this can be either a fixed amount or for instance an (increasing) amount per climb they accomplish.

The name, Alpe d’HuZes, is a contraction of the Dutch word for six – ‘zes’ – and the name of the mountain. It is endorsed by the KWF Kankerbestrijding (the Dutch Cancer Society), LiveStrong Foundation and Inspire2Live.

The dream – the ultimate goal – is for cancer to evolve from a deadly disease into a chronic illness. The guys from Team AD6 Tweets share this dream and for that they participated in Alpe d’HuZes 2012.

“If at first an idea is not absurd, there is no hope for it” – Albert Einstein

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Alpe d’HuYes – report of our AD6 week

(Nederlandse versie hier)

With the announcement that 32.231.747,35 Euro has been raised, the 2012 edition of the Alpe d’HuZes came to a close last weekend (Oct. 7). A staggering amount and one to be very, very proud of – and I am / we are!

This year’s edition was the one of Team AD6 Tweets and 7,892 other participants, countless volunteers and even more supporters – all in all more than 25.000 people were involved during this week. I am proud and happy to have been part of this event – read on about how a year of preparation culminated in ‘one week of Alpe d’HuZes‘…

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Alpe d’HuZes – Final Notice

This day next week around this time I hope to be ready to start my 3rd climb up the Alpe d’Huez during Alpe d’HuZes.

Deemed physically impossible by those who have a medical degree, I (still) beg to differ. As stated before, I may – or will – have to come to terms with the idea that six climbs will be impossible, but to not try is not an option.

We will leave for France tomorrow morning and I will have some time to run cycle a final test or two. As we do not have Internet in the apartment, this may well be my last post untill after D-Day. We do have Wi-Fi in Le Bourg-d’Oisans and probably around the ‘Alpe d’HuZes area’ too, but that means some Twitter or Facebook posts at best.

So, needing all the help I can get, keep your fingers crossed and I will try to defy science 🙂

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