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Cent Cols Challenge: Stage 8
Bedoin - Vassieux
15.4 mph ave
A perfect, late summers day - the temperature rose in the afternoon, but was never uncomfortable, the only minor complaint was the occasional strong headwind going on the final climb.
The day started under perfect conditions with the Giant of Provence. Still, clear, cool, which made for a much more enjoyable ascent than the scorching Etape, which saw scores of competitors lying at the side of the road and collapsing toward the summit.
A safe high-speed descent saw us hit 50mph+, before rolling into the massive landscapes of the Drome-Provencal. The climbs here were unlike any landscape we'd been through, you could see up and into the distance, often viewing the pass you were headed for many miles in the distance.
The team is riding well, with everyone playing to their strengths and keeping a good rhythm. The gruelling day finished with a stunning 22km winding climb up the Col de Rousett and the plateau town of Vassieux. This meandering (in the best possible sense) 5.5% climb has been a highlight of the eight days so far. Highly recommended.
The ascent of the Ventoux and Col de Rousett, a great start and finish the day. The place we're staying at tonight is high on a plateau and the air tastes, well, …like fresh, clean mountain air.
Nick had a puncture/slash in a tyre sidewall which took three tubes to get going again, very frustrating but another challenge overcome.
Rushing breakfast, damnit. I wish we could stay longer in some of these great places.
Tomorrow we head further north through further stunning landscapes, and it will be the last of our 'big' days - 210km and something like another 5000m climbing. Nice work!
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