Tomorrow Never Dies 

Stage 12; 217km; Pau – Peyragudes
Now that was another tough day, so much so that I just thought I’d cheat and repost a blog from 2015! But you know me that’s not my style…

The day started with some sad news, our Skipper, inspiration and last but not least a good friend, went back home to his family today. It was not a descision that he took lightly as am sure you all saw on social media, Geoff has been feeling the after effects of his crash from day 2, and the swelling is making it difficult to walk let alone pedal.

The longest stage of the Pyrenean chapter was made up of an extremely difficult sequence of climbs. From a ‘wannabe pro’ like myself I suffered and I have two functional legs, so as tough a dude as GT is it was completely the right move. Get well Skip and we go again for the Spanish chapter.

As the kilometres were covered it only got harder with the climb up to the Col de Menté and then the Port de Balès however the real agony for the legs was the final climb to Peyragudes. In the final kilometre on the runway of the only airport of the Pyrenees was a passage of 16% over a distance of 200 metres. Peyragudes, known for its international snowboard competitions during the winter. The Pyrenean resort welcomes each summer the world elite of longboard, a variety of skateboards. For all you cinema experts, in 1997, twenty years ago, the opening scene of the James Bond movie Tomorrow Never dies was filmed in Peyragudes.

The Pyrenees are stunningly beautiful. We climbed 5 mountains of all categories so thought I’d give you an overview of how the category system came about. I was once told that the climb classification was originally worked out using a good old Citroen 2CV.

The story goes that if the car could make it up the climb in 4th gear it was a Category 4 climb, if it could get up in 3rd gear it was a Category 3 climb and so on up to 1st gear. If the little car could not get up the climb it was Hors Category (HC) which means “without category”. So in terms of effort, I could simplify it

Category 4 climb – Moderate
Category 3 climb – Hard
Category 2 climb – Really hard
Category 1 climb – Unpleasant
HC climb – Like dragging a man hole cover

Even today the way a climb is categorised is not much more scientific, although a bit of subjectivity is thrown in for good measure and the organisers of the Grand Tours sometime increase the category of a particular climb to light the race up and increase the King of the Mountains (KOM) points.

There you have it, until tomorrow.

If you would like to donate then here’s my page-

Thanks from all at Cureleukeamia

~ by theboxterboy on July 12, 2017.

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