All seventeen riders were hoping that the Gods would shine on them today, both literally and metaphorically after yesterday’s torrential rain.
The day promised the mighty Col de Marie Blanque and the energy sapping Col D’Abisque. The pre ride briefing left us in no doubt that the 8km Marie Blanque would test us all, while “relatively” gentle for the first 4km, you have to pay back the mountain in the last 4km with a 13% uphill slow grind leaving us constantly looking for that lower gear that doesn’t exist. To add to the challenge heavy rain throughout the whole climb added to the exhaustion and cold such that there was no stop at the top, extra layers and a rapid descent to a warm café for hot chocolate infusions.
Then the bad news, the weather was so bad that the Ascent of Col A’bisque having been closed yesterday was deemed too dangerous, so a low level route to the hotel had to be taken.
The rain finally let up after six hours but not before Richard crashed, slipping on the floor as he avoided a car pulling out. Luckily no serious injuries or pile up from other riders.