Monday, 28 July 2008

Col de la Crouzette/Col de Portel - ouch!

I was out on the roadie by 09.30 this morning as the forecast was for very hot temperatures again later in the day. Kev joined me for an assault on this year's Tour de France route from Riverenert just outside St Girons up to the Col de la Crouzette and then on to the Col de Portel before commencing a leisurely descent to the Col de Peguere and back down to Pissou. The Col de Crouzette, like the Col d'Agnès from Aulus, has a reputation for being 'ard and certainly the profile was quite intimidating, with the last 3 kms being particularly unpleasant;Still, I had done the Plateau de Beille and Col d'Agnes, so I was up for it! I enjoyed the ride down to St G from Massat, drafting in Kev's slipstream which saved my legs somewhat. The undulating ride to Riverenert was also very pleasant at a gradient of 2-3%, but then the hard work started. It was hotting up and I am not talking just about the air temperature! It was a slog, that's for sure and I was grateful for the sporadic shade cast by the trees and woodland on the way up. A couple of times I really thought I would have to stop, but I knew that if I did that it would be hard to get going again. So I just kept the pedals turning and eventually, an hour and 10 mins after leaving Riverenert, we reached the Col de la CrouzetteI was tired and my water reserves were seriously depleted. But the view was worth the climb.There followed another 3kms of ave 7% gradient to reach the Col de Portel from where we had watched the TDF 2 weeks ago. Thankfully, it was all downhill from there.... I was finished, done in, hot, tired and very sweaty! I was relieved to get back to Pissou after 3 hrs in the saddle and just under 60kms and 1010m of ascent. But I was happy to have 'ticked' another classic hard Col that is on our doorstep :-)

On a brighter note, here is a piccy of a rose bud in front of the house - beautiful, isn't it!

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