Thursday, 18 July 2013

Alpe d'Huez x 2 - The Queen Stage.

Today's Queen Stage from Gap to Alpe d'Huez was always going to be a special day and we weren't let down by the spectacle of the racing and the almost unbelievable antics from the hundreds of thousands of spectators who lined every one of the 21 switchbacks on the mystical mountain of d'Huez.
BMC tried to salvage something from this year's race and put TJ van Garderen on the attack, only to fail in the closing kilometre by a gutsy performance from Christophe Riblon. It was a wonderful day for the French to finally get their first victory in this Centennial Edition of the Tour, particularly on the mythical Alpe d'Huez.
Froome has extended his lead in the overall GC, with a significant amount of support from Aussie Richie Porte. Contador lost a little more time, as did Kreuziger who rode in support of Contador today. Quintana and Rodriguez have, as predicted, staked their claims on podium spots with some strong climbing today.
There's a lot of talk around the web and the various cycling networks over here about BMC trying to salvage a stage in this last week. TJ only just failed today and word is that Cadel Evans has been taking it easy since the last rest day to try for a win tomorrow on the stage to Le Grand-Bornard, fingers crossed!!
Today was predicted to be wet on Alpe d'Huez, so most of our group opted to take the bus directly from our hotel in Grenoble and then take a nice, but lumpy, scenic 60 km ride around Lac du Bourget from our new hotel in Aix les Bains. The weather was perfect for the ride and we managed to get back to watch the last 70 km of the race on the hotel television and enjoy a late lunch. The pics below  were taken during the ride.
Tomorrow we head up to Annecy, often referred to as the "Venice of Savoie", to take an 80 km ride around the shores and hills of Lac D'Annecy. We will then watch the race go by at the second last climb of the day, the Cat 1 Col de l'Epine.

1 comment:

  1. aah Pete say hullo to la belle Annecy and La Savoie region for me, wont you?

    I so really loved Annecy and le lac tres bleu. When we were there it was just superb weather... so God willing you might be blessed likewise.
    Last night leg was certainly like all of le tour drama the folk drove me balmy at times with their antics... but loved the duel on the road was so torn about TJ and Riblon wanted them both to win, sigh!!
    ... only one can win, but glad for French. Riblon had not won since le tour in 2010. TJ is young only 25 or 6, so maybe another day for him, I hope...
    Tonight am barracking for gutsy Pierre Roland he is trying too for the French. They really love him as he goes around too.
    Just starting to teem with rain here at 11.33pm has been dry and very warm enjoyed it really but wet and cold coming.. be safe, love Shaz.x

    well enough of my waffle be safe and take care