The Tour de Force

The Tour de Force

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Bring Me Sunshine! Stage 11: Pau to Cauterets...Wednesday 8th July 2015

Thanks to almost five hour's worth of persistence, today's tune is a belter and the credit goes to Le Tracteur pour le suggestion...

It was going to be a big stage with almost 120 miles and about 12000' of climbing on the cards- you could smell the anticipation. Yep, sorry about that...

A pfaff preparing itself.
Today's wee spin...
The conditions were not exactly conducive to taking photos: basically we got drenched from the off, and it didn't let-up until almost 5 hours later. My bike was carrying a little extra ballast too:

Ridiculous. I'm heavy enough, thanks.

Still, we were onto to the Col d'Aspin and it was do-able: we had managed the day sensibly...riding at a realistic pace, eating and drinking often, and not hanging around at feed-stops. It all adds-up to making a difficult day slightly less-so!
About the first view that I had all day.
Felt a bit more in control of this climb...good job too!
Statue at the foot de Le Tourmalet.
Tour guff.
More Tour guff. They go grand on this.
It was a long old drag up Le Tourmalet, which as I'm sure you know is the most used climb in this race. It was shrouded in cloud so no real photos to speak was terrific to have a feed-stop at the summit before getting on with the descent and then the final 6 mile climb to our accommodation in Cauterets.
D.S.O.T.M. atop Tourmalet again!
To be fair, they do try to give you a wide berth. Bon!
As seen on the final climb up to Cauterets- our hotel stop and a 6 mile drag. Nice!
The most annoying thing of all has been the agonisingly slow/non-existent wifi which has bollocksed-up my attempts at keeping y'all updated, blog-wise. The other choker was that my Garmin device refused to record today's stats: the essential numbers that you need are...

118 miles going forward and 12,500' going up...ouch!

As is inevitable with this sort of caper, certain areas are protesting, hence this improvised ice-pack...
Refreshes the joints etc....
We roll early-doors for a.n.other hour-plus coach transfer before we start a sod of a stage...bring me sunshine!

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I do have a bit of previous...

2014: 1000 miles solo & unsupported out to France, then La Bicinglette...6 x Mont Ventoux in a day!

2013: 1000 miles solo & unsupported out to Austria, then the worst climbs in The Dolomites!

2012: The inaugural Haute Route sportive from Geneva to Nice, followed by the worst Pyrenean climbs!

2011: 3500 miles across North America...coast to coast!

2010: 1600 miles from Gibraltar to Blackpool!

2009: 1000 miles from Land's End to John O'Groats!

2008: 250 miles from Blackpool to London!

2007: 100 miles around Manchester!

2006: 0.5 mile to corner shop!