Cette page n'a pas encore été traduite en Français.
We are showing you the French version of our site: would you prefer a different location?
Vous visitez la version française de notre site internet. Voulez-vous changer de version?
Cent Cols Challenge: Stage 4
Sisteron to Valberg
A cool crisp start with cloud hanging around the all sections of the 26km climb. The day got progressively hotter and clearer, the only respite being the cool breeze which came with altitude.
It was over the duration of today's ride that we made the noticable transition from the higher Alps to Provence. The architecture became less Alpine and more Med, the weather became less threatening, and I got a whiff of the distinctive lavender fields. The ride involved four 'big' Cols, all of them very different in character but equally testing.
The day started with a 26km climb through thick low clouds into an area of geological significance. Every so often we'd rise through the mists into an otherworldly, rocky landscape. Yet more spectacular were the descents, some were hairpin cascades down the sides of steep ravines, others gentle ribbons of perfect tarmac.
The arrival of the Lanterne Rouge caps (more on this later), a weight off my mind and nice surprise for those who've earned them so far.
More good coffee, this time presented by Ira just before the off. The man is pure class.
This morning, from spotless bike to filthy in half an hour. Damn. Ira took a tumble on a clouded decent. I thought his superb 'cross skills would keep him on after being driven into a rocky verge but it wasn't enough. He's battered and his bike is a wreck, but as I type he's fixing up Phil's bike to ride tomorrow. Chapeau.
Forgetting to take my camera out on the final 14k climb to Valberg because I was so intent on chasing down David Arthur's break. A stunning climb, which you can see zig-zag up ahead for miles.
Dinner of make-your-own crêpes. …fabulous food, but I think I ate too much!
Tomorrow's stage looks brutal. 218km, a lot of Cols and climbs up to 13%, and some of it through Nice and urban areas (I feel spoilt with how quiet it's been the last few days), I'm looking forward to it.
The clouds were so heavy you'd leave each one covered in a thick layer of dew droplets.
The run into Guillaumes, cutting through the rocky valley side.
- RT @mike_cuming: good luck to the fellas @Porterelliott @willstephenson and @edlaverack in the U23 TT today...
- Last week was a great one for Rapha Condor JLT, all the action and images now up on the team site: http://t.co/ftBejPnnCJ
- RT @alainrumpf: Well done @mike_cuming and @raphacondorjlt winner of #TdK2013 under the scrutiny of latest drone… http://t.co/gv81uP9mHP
- In their attempt to cross the US in 24 days, @michaeltabtabai & Andrew Hudon will ‘Leave It On The Road’. → http://t.co/Per6QsCAtt
- We are delighted to announce the opening of a one-month, pop-up @RaphaCycleClub in Tokyo this summer from 22/6–21/7 → http://t.co/Jrc0EKZ9ky
- Huge congratulations to @raphacondorjlt’s @mike_cuming for winning the @TourdeKorea2013 and to @tomsoutham for best DS. #TdK2013
- @danfromnam in Corsica — outtake from our 2013 Spring/Summer shoot #corsica #beningstagram http://t.co/03A7pT9mtj
- Winner Winner Chicken Dinner ! The most important jersey of #TdK2013 hot off the press. http://t.co/Pflx0eUfdv”
- What a day... The boys keep Mike Cuming in yellow, after having to chase all day. Great performance by all.
- Just rehearsing the whole of Pacino's speech from Any Given Sunday to recite to the boys...