Monday, 15 July 2013

Race Rest Day - Mont Ventoux for us.

Today is the race second rest day and all the teams have been quietly bedded down in their hotels in northern  Provence. Yesterday's mammoth stage would have taken a lot out of the riders and they would have been glad of an easy day with a sleep in and then an easy roll around the local roads this morning.
The pace that was set yesterday was extraordinary and was well ahead of the predicted fastest time, Froome ended up 45 minutes ahead of the predicted time and had one of the fastest ever ascents of Mont Ventoux.
We're staying in a great little country hotel, a converted farm manor house, which is only 55 km from the base of Mont Ventoux and 40 km from tomorrow's race start at Vaison La Romaine. Tomorrow we will ride to the race start and then ride back to the hotel again, an easy day for us after today's epic day on Mont Ventoux.
We headed out on the bus at 9 am this morning, being able to enjoy our first full night's sleep for some time. The bus dropped us and our bikes at Malaucene, in the foothills of Mont Ventoux. We then rode the 12 km up to Bedoin to start the 22 km ascent of Ventoux.
It was a hot day again and keeping the water and electrolyte intake level up was critical for a good day on the bike. The first stop on the climb was at Chalet Reynard, 6 km from the summit. Riders have the opportunity to buy food, coffee and drinks here and buy their souvenir cycling kit. While I was there I had a random tap on the shoulder from an ex-Army mate and local Brisbane IT consultant, Paul Burgess, see pic below. Paul has done a couple of trips to the France for the Tour and we've ridden together from time to time as part of his preparation for the trip.
The next stop is at the memorial of Tom Simpson, an English professional cyclist who tragically died  1 km from the top during the 1967 Tour. After my first time on Ventoux in 2011, I decided that I should souvenir a small rock from near the memorial for mounting a keepsake with a photo at the memorial, the photo is below.
Following the ride to the summit it was then a quick decent back to Malaucene. We then had the option of taking the bus back to the hotel or adding another 55 km to our day by riding home. I joined the ride back to the hotel, along some very rough country roads and headwinds for 45 km of the 55 km return journey!! With more than 100 km in the legs today, we're looking forward to another later start tomorrow and steady ride to and from the race start. Random pics below are from today's ride.

1 comment:

  1. ah so was it windy Pete? Well done doing it even if you did not beat any records was a epic ride hat is for sure! Glad you have nice place to stay and near starts of the day..makes it a lot easier.. 22.7km to end of the leg for today at moment here, on descent in Gap.. :D
    take care, Shaz.x