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Jacksonville, FL, United States
In Life as well as in running the secret is Pace.

Friday, September 5, 2014

RAID Alpine Day 3 - The Queen Stage

so… to sum up our cycling adventure…  so far I have managed to ride myself into the ground… just in time for the longest stage.
Meanwhile Judi had been riding smart and dosing her effort.  
Since the stage was so long and hard, our guides had us start slowest first and fastest last in order to help them keep up with us better with the support van.
Judi and I were the first to roll.  I had no idea how long Judi would hang on…  or me either to be honest.  I just knew that in order to have a chance at finishing one must begin.  So we did the first off at 0800….  and this turned out to be the best 2.5 hours of the whole tour…  the I'seran was spectacularly beautiful..  
Judi and I were basically alone all the way up the climb…  taking our time…  soaking up the morning…  the bike…  our effort…  each other's company.
although we were quite happy to finish the climb…  the top was 3 degrees C…  and a light rain quickly turned to sleet.  
I did not really expect Judi to attempt the descent…  but she decided to….  and in our haste to get back to lower elevations and warmer temps we did not gear up as well as we should have…  
By the way…  did I mention that I lost my knee warmers?  Yep…  the day before I really needed them...
After a long descent with a massive headwind and a bite of lunch we hit our second iconic climb of the day
It was 12ish K but very constant at about 8%.
This was followed up by the Galibier…  steep…  monstrous…  and unrelenting.  Judi was already tired when we started but in a show of determination climbed to the top.
The road seen in the valley below is the beginning of the climb. It is about 5 k at 4%-6%...  it looks flat-ish in the picture and pretty much so on the road but it burns the legs…
Next up…  the ramps and switchbacks…
the ramp on the right 13% ouch!

Very Steep near the top.
But we made it