Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Haute Route Pyrenees: Stage 7

Today's ride was the last stage.  It was a bit melancholy.  On the one hand the idea of a day off the bike is pretty appealing right now.  On the other hand I will miss the camaraderie among the riders and the challenge of completing another hard ride.

The route today had three portions: The first 75km to the top of Col d'Ibardin was timed.  Then we descended for about 15km to a long lunch stop near at Saint Jean de Luz and finally the last 25km was 'en convoy' escorted by the moto riders to Anglet for the final 'finish'.

Here is the profile:

Team TwoWheelTours seem to be the only bikes lined up prior to the start!

Will Levy being interviewed as one of the triple crown riders (folks who rode the Dolomites, Alpes, and Pyrenees peroration of the Haute Route.  In fact, Will is one of only three people who have ridden very Haute Route event from the start!

Lining up for the final start of the 2014 Haute Route

A panoramic view of the start

The last selfie from the Haute Route...

Beautiful Basque countryside

The final coffee stop...

A real lunch break with some of the Aussie riders.

We made it to the Atlantic Ocean!

Lots of bikes awaiting the convoy to Anglet

OK, I lied.  One last selfie.

Someone else took this one!

Here is the Strava data:

And finally, here is a diagram of the entire Haute Route Pyrenees:

Haute Route Pyrenees: Stage 6

Today we rode from Argeles to St. Jean Pied de Port.  A distance of 150km.  and 3350m of climbing. It wasn't the longest distance but it may have been the hardest day!  Here is the profile:

Lining up for the start...

Along the road...

Looking back where we've come from...

At the top of Col D'Aubisque..

The refreshment stop at the top of Col D'Aubisque

Another view at the top of the Col D'Aubisque

The awards podium for Stage 6...

Here is the Strava record for the day...

Friday, September 5, 2014

Haute Route Pyrenees: Stage 5 ITT

Today we rode the Individual Time Trial.  In this event each riders starts separately (20 seconds apart) and races against the clock.  Our route was up to Tourmalet (again!) but from the other direction from the one we took yesterday.  I was a continuos climb of about 18.5km.  Here is the profile.

Lining up for the start.

Ready to mount the starting ramp.

The view back down the road we've come up.

I'm getting better at this selfie thing!

At the top.  A victory pose!

The restaurant at the top of Tourmalet.

View of the finish line.  Will Levy, leader of Two Wheel Tours, in green.   Even his tires are green!

The full Tow Wheel Tours TeamL Me, Gorka, Jeff Sisco, Will Levy

Statue of Octave Lapize, the first rider to make it to the top of Tourmalet in 1910 when it was first included in the Tour de France.

Here is the Strava record:

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Haute Route Pyrenees: Stage 4

Today was the big stage.   Only 118 km but more than 3600m of climbing.  We made three iconic climbs:

Col de Peyresourde, 1569m altitude, 900m of altitude gain over 15km
Col de Hourquette d’Ancizan, 1564m altitude, 700m of altitude gain over 11km
Col du Tourmalet, 2117m altitude, 1270m of altitude gain over 17km

Here is the Profile:

Lining up at the start:

A selfie from the first climb.  It's actually pretty hard to take a selfie while riding and I always have my mouth open 'cause I'm gasping for air!

A view from the road.

These signs appear every kilometer and let one know how steep the next section is and how far to the summit.  Not sure if this is encouraging or discouraging!

A view back into the valley we came from.

A couple of guys stopped to get some photos and chat with the road crew.  I didn't stop so I wouldn't lose time!

A view from one of our rest stops.

A selfie taken about 2.5km from the summit of Tourmalet.

A view up the road from the same spot.

Made it to the top of Tourmalet!

Yours truly in front of the iconic statue at the top of Tourmalet.

There is no Strava file today as my Garmin battery died about 1/3 of the way into the ride. I'm sure the power file was epic!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Haute Route Pyrenees: Stage 3

Today's stage was long.  160km from Ax les Thermes to Bagneres de Luchon.  There were three climbs although none were as big as yesterday's.  Here is the profile:

Waiting for the start in Ax les Thermes

This is Will Levy, who runs Two Wheel Tours in Australia and who is my leading our group of two riders for the Haute Route.

Somewhere out on the course!

Lots of spectacular scenery along the route today.

The rest stop at the top of the last climb.

Just down the street from our hotel.  Bagneres de Luchon is another thermal town and a great ski resort in winter.

Here is the Strava data: