Posted by: Scanstrut | July 12, 2011

What a day…

Scanstrut MD Tom Reed is currently over in France having just taken part in the L’Étape du Tour. French for ‘stage of the tour’, it’s an organised mass participation cyclosportive event that allows amateur cyclists to race over the same route as a Tour de France stage.

We thought we would share his email with you all…

What a day.

That was easily the hardest ride I have ever done. I knew it would be. However, it was also one of the most inspiring, humbling and, at times, emotional experiences I’ve been through.

From the 7am start with 10,000 other riders to the 44k of total climbing to the incredible fortitude shown by the amateur riders who refused to give up. Amazing.

The last 3k of climb over the top of Galibier will remain long in my memory. A narrow strip of tarmac snakes over the top of that famous mountain at a height of 2646m. The view from the top had a strangely physical effect on me that was unexpected. The vista was so grand, the mountain so massive and me so small. It had its own presence.

The descent off the other side was shout out load fun! 35k down alpine roads with no traffic. Worth the considerable pain to get to top just to have that descent. Super smooth tarmac, clear roads meant you tuck in and just let the bike go.

The final ascent up to Alpe D’Huez was brutal. A fully drugged up Marco Pantani holds the record at around 38mins. If I got up there in under 2 hours I’ll be happy! A well disguised right turn leads you onto the mountain and the first 3 switch backs are a wall of tarmac. With the 35 degree heat added to that mix I had to have a proper chat with myself to make sure I kept going!

I have no idea of my exact finish time or position but that doesn’t matter. My body is telling me I could not have done any more.

Would I do it again? No way, never, not in a million years! Would I recommend anyone else does it? Yes, 100% yes.

It was unforgettable.

The well-earned view from the top!

 

Onwards and upwards

 

Views on the way up

 

Landmarks along the way

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