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I am loving it!!! ... říká Alpo o trase, která nás čeká ... - 25.10. 2012

map_route_198Od včerejška je Tour opět o něco blíže. Konečně máme před sebou namalovanou trasu, kterou budeme v létě 2013 kus po kuse ukrajovat. Co na to Alpo???

Alpovu reakci pro větší autentičnost nebudu snad ani překládat. Je z ní cítit, že nás čeká skutečně celoživotní zážitek ...

Here we go!

After studying all the stages carefully the intimidation of the challenge returned. Feeling of kicking towards something nearly impossible motivated trainings last autumn. During the year, after excellent progress in kick shape, the challenge began to seem quite possible indeed. Resulting in a bit of relaxed attitude to training. Welcome back stress! (stress in positive tone).

Jan already pointed out the real beast called Bastille Day: 240km combined with the climb of the Ventoux. For us kilometers mean more than for bikers, so a looong day with some climbs is tougher than a shortish day full of climbing. For this beast, let me suggest something: Following day will be rest. It's a bit of a rite to climb Ventoux early in the morning, to arrive at the top to see sunrise. On clear weather you can see the day emerging and shadow of the night gradually moving west across the plateaus of the south. Let's sleep long in Lyon. Let's kick an easy day. Let's have a few hours sleep to climb Ventoux for sunrise. And let's make this a special 'kick with us' event.

During the previous -pretty tough- week diagonally through France I'd like to be waiting a positive day, rather than fear the beast.

The real beast of le Tour will naturally not be any single stage or mountain, but the three weeks combined. Below I've colored the stages according to the expected toughness. There are fortunately many rest days too. Time trials are our salvation. Both rest days will be followed by a 'normal' stage plus a time trial. I like to think of that as a three day rest with a longer warm-up ride included to keep the legs going.

From the beginning, the third day will be the first tough test, as we are already a bit tired, it's quite hilly and we need to catch the ferry in time.

From Nice towards Albi none of the stages is easy. I'm bit of a disappointed Nice-Marseille is not taking the majestic coastline but a bit relieved too as the coastline wouldn't be majestic without tough climbs. Then in Albi, we will be pretty beaten up and facing two tough mountain stages. If none of us has quitted after Pyrenees I'll eat my helmet. Well, maybe not. Maybe a plate sized croustade aux pommes instead.

 Then we'll be saved by rest days, though unfortunately driving 600km to Nantes. There's many marvellous places along the route. Take the Mont-Saint-Michel for example. Le Tour would make a pretty well thought tourist road trip of France and we can hopefully give our support team some time to enjoy it all. France is beautiful.

Across France towards Lyon we'll learn that France is also big and Loire valley is flat but Massif Central is not at all. I hope I'm still there kicking experiencing every kilometer. We'll be once again gradually worn out before the real test, which in this case will be the aforementioned Bastille Day. And again saved by the (triple) rest day.

I'm counting on everyone who manages this far to finish the tour (acute sickness is of course quite possible after two weeks of strain).

Last week will be the toughest by mountains but still possible since here we can already snip on the sleeping time.

Alpe d'Huez climb is famous, but not the toughest at all. That day is not too long and also not too hilly, just twice Alped'Huez. If you like to experience that, welcome. It's quite a gathering of cycling tifosis there. A huge gathering of them actually. Also consider to have more reason to climb it than just a tourist visit.

Day after Alpe d'Huez is certainly the king of the stages. Over 200km over cols Glandon, Madeleine, Tamie, l'Epine and Croix Fry! Glandon and Madeleine are both about one and half times the Alpe d'Huez. This is mental game. Last big mountain stage. Take every kick as it was your last. We will probably continue long to the night.

Next stage in Annecy is surprisingly tough too. Actually quite egual to Alped'Huez day. It's not too long, so we can (and probably will have to) walk a lot. 

A short sleep, a long drive to Paris and a ceremonial last stage. My vote goes for not really kicking this last stage completely. Not all the rounds on Champs Elysees. After having ridden around Arc de Triomphe once everyone probably agrees. Of riding instructions for that specific traffic circle you can consult Youtube. Anyone here with a recommendation of a hotel and a restaurants for next two days in Paris? I mean there are just too many that I'd have any interest in sorting that out. And without pre-planning there's a risk to end up in McDonalds...

I'm loving it


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Matti | 31.10. 2012 23:25

Alpo, hieno retken esitys! Kiitos! Ja onnea matkaan.