The climb itself is in three distinct parts with a sustained first section, before it eases through Val D'Isere. The landscape from there on the upper slopes of the mountain was beyond anything I have ever experienced on a bike, even on the Stelvio. It was mind blowing and I got a cheer from the support crew, showboating a “sprint” across the line at 2770m!
As I was early and the crew was only just getting organized at the campsite, I decided to check out the Col du Mt Cenis, a climb straight out of the village. It turned out to be quite a bit tougher than expected with a relentless gradient, a hot sun, 7 days of back-to-back riding in the legs and even a headwind for the last few kilometres! Still, once more it lead to glorious views and I knew from the climb that it would be a beautiful decent back to the village and coffee and ice cream!
She turned out to be a tough companion. With clear site of the Garmin, every time I was seen to slack of she would give me an ear bashing....
10 days in and we were advancing south rapidly? Would we soon be able to smell the sea?
Stay tuned for the final episode, Downhill To The Med. If you missed part 1, you can find it here.
Climbs of Part 2
Col de l'Iseran
Col du Mt Cenis
Col du Telegraphe
Col du Galibier
Croix de Fer
Col de Sarenne
Col du Lautaret
Stage 5 - Col de l'Iseran & Mt. Cenis
Stage 6 - Col du Telegraphe & Galibier
Rest Day - Alpe D'Huez & Croix de Fer
Stage 7 - Alpe D'Huez, Sarenne & Lautaret