Monday, August 22, 2011

ECFR11 – Day 8 – The Finale.

Swim 800m (to make up for when we get booted out of the pool in Briancon)
Bike 173km (elevation gain 2715m)

When I did my recognisance over the Col du Grand Colombier I was seriously worried as it seemed very steep indeed and this was only compounded when Hywell looked at my with surprise when I said we were going over it. Thankfully we were coming from the easier side but it was still by far the hardest climb of the camp. 15km of effort with the first 9km being unrelentless at 8-12% I guess. Someone commented on one of my posts that a 39/27 is fine for the alps – well it isn’t. Yes I got up the climb but it would have been a hell of a lot prettier and faster had I had some more gears. I rode a good chunk of the climb with Rob P but what I’m lacking right now (aside from fitness) is the killer instinct. I wasn’t able to get myself into the deep hard place of pain to make a real race of it. That will come with a few short course races I’m sure.
Thankfully the top section of the climb was pretty easy and I was comfortably in 4th.
There is no way in hell we would have got up the other side. The descent was not much fun at all with narrow roads @ 19% grade. A couple of guys blew out tubes with heating their rims so much with breaking – it not a Tour De France myth your rims really do get that hot.
The final climb of the day was a gentle slope mainly in the forest. A ripper descent but as we came down the thermometer was going up and fast. The forecast was 38c and it was all that and more as we approached Lyon. Thankfully we had the Steven Lord train pulling us to town pretty quickly. For those like me that still had fluids they were so hot you didn’t want to drink them. With it being a Sunday no shops were open. I was scanning everywhere as we came through villages then finally there was an unattended petrol station that had some vending machines. The cold drink I had there in the shade was bliss. When we pulled back out the full force of the heat hit us again and it was 10km of survival to Lyon.

Apparently the bike stats for the camp were 1070km riding with over 20,000m of elevation gain!!!

A great epic day to finish the camp

A big thanks to
  • Ian and Julie from Pyrenees Multisport
  • Anna from Massage me in the ‘Paradiski ski area’ of the Alpes
  • Our camp sponsors: High 5, Blue Seventy, Coffee’s of Hawaii, Fuel Belt, Oomph and HED

I will write some thoughts on the camp long trip home tonight.
Anyone who is keen to join me for an Epic Camp Lite in Kona next May get in touch. It should be a great camp combining in with the Kona 70.3 on June 2nd

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