Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Alpe D' Huez

The accompation in Allemont was picked to provided the opportunity to cycle up one of the Tour de France's classic climbs. So it was that at 8:15 on a Tuesday morning I set off from our gite. I had planned the route at home. A 54 mile ride from Allemont that included the classic climb was programmed into the Garmin. The forecast for the day was temperatures in the mid 20's but it was a cool 10.2 degrees when I set off.

My route took me down to the main road which I then followed for for about 4 miles to Le Bourg d'Oisans where I turned towards Alpe D'Huez. The 13.8 km climb with 21 hairpins and 1124m of ascent has made tour champions and broken the hearts of others. The unofficial record is 37 minutes and 35 seconds by Marco Pantani set during the 1997 tour. My progress to the top was at a more leasurely pace and I would have finished about an hour behind him! The ski station is above the village of Huez and once you reach the village you still have another 5 km of climbing to reach the top. Photographers on route snap your photo as you pass providing the opportunity to purchase a momento.
There appears to be a couple of "finishes ". The first by a bar is the top of the time climbed whilst signs point to the official tour de France finish a little further on.
Photos taken then rather than descend my route took me higher to just below 2000m and the Col de Saranne. For some reason my Garmin GPS did not want to take me on the road and then frooze.The descent to Clavans le Haut was steep with bolders littering sections of the road. My original route was to take the minor road just after the resovoir at Mezion, but with the Garmin frozen I missed the turn and continued on the main road towards Le Bourg d'Oisans. Fortunately the 2 short tunnels were lite but I would take lights on a future trip.Rather than take the main road back to Allemont I turned off and climbed up towards Alpe D' Huez for the second time. This time I turned off on reaching Huez to the Col de Poutran. The minor road offered some excellent views across the valley and then down to Allemont. I arrived back just after 3:00pm. A excellent ride of 53.7 miles with 2452 m of ascent.
After a short ride with Lyn around the lake we eat in the gite. Oven roasted duck breast followed by mini crepes cooked on the mini crepe maker that was in the accommodation. The Cluedo came out and Louise showed off her detective skills once we had translated all the weapons into to English.

posted from Bloggeroid

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