Nantua to Chambery 182 km First Mountain Stage

Nantua to Chambery 182 km First Mountain Stage

150 150 Gerard O'Connor

Toughest stage of the Tour ??

Col de la Biche…Grand Colombier…Mont du Chat…..3 of the most feared climbs on tour. Add to that a number of other catergorised climbs this stage is arguably the toughest stage of the whole tour… Not to say that there are other tough days ahead.

Concentraing on the 3 uncategorised climbs … (they are rated 1 to 4 based on their difficulty),

these 3 climbs are rated so difficult they don’t get categorised!!

Col de la Biche was 20km long … not horrendously steep, average 8% but going on for an eternity, the Colombier is a monster 10km long ,rising to a wall of 20% gradient for a full kilometre half way through, that was the steepest part of any climb and at the time had the legs screaming for a rest… no such luck the  remaining  5 km averaged out at 8% and to an altitude of 1501m. The views were spectacular and a 10 km descent followed. I struggled on the descent as the front wheel seem to wobble, at the feed station mechanics told me I had buckled the front carbon wheel due to severe breaking.  A quick wheel change and I was back on the road.

The weather was a lot better today but the severity of the climbs reduced the number of riders able to complete the stage…a number simply failed to finish and a number were re routes to a shorter route avoiding some of The uncategorised climbs.

From the worst day on a bike to one of the toughest on a bike… 2 incredible stages back to back.

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