Stage 10

167km – Tarbes to Pierre St Martin and the first day in the Pyrenees, an intro to what we had coming over the next few days – Mountains.

The first 100km were rolling hills and grippy surfaces, that aside the group felt fresh after the rest day and the first 110km to our lunch stop was run off at an average of 30kph. Post lunch stop the mountains loomed ominously yet beautifully in the distance, the sun was shining and the breeze was light. With it being Bastille day tomorrow and a national holiday in France, the finish climb was already busy with people and mobile homes.

    At the foot of the climb our convoy was told that it would not be able to get up as the route was blocked to non tour specific traffic. The motorbikes came up in support and we started the hor categorie 18km Climb of the col du Soudet, which finished at the ski station of Pierre St Martin topping out at 1610m on the Spanish border.

The sun was at its venomous best as we climbed in temperatures of 34C. Mel and I set of at a keen tempo and the first 10km of the climb was steep and unrelenting with averages of between 9 – 11%. The last few km were less steep and afforded a chance to get a better rhythm. I went through 2 bidons in an attempt to quench my thirst as the sweat was cascading off us.

Everyone has to climb at their own tempo and once we had regrouped for a photo we descended back down and making the way to the team bus in the village I reached speeds of 86kph in the village. The days total distance 187km. As I type this blog, recovery starts with a protein shake and a 2hr transfer back to our evening base in Lourdes. Massage, shower, eat and repeat. We have an even tougher day tomorrow with the legendary combo of Aspin and Tourmalet to get over.

~ by theboxterboy on July 13, 2015.

2 Responses to “Stage 10”

  1. So inspiring well done to you all 😄

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