Day one: John and Tim started with an easy 6,000feet climb over two iconic mountains, including Colombier, in 36c heat (roughly 10 miles of Cleeve Hill) and the second big ascent of the day. As John says, “If you're going to have a heart attack..the scenery here is a great backdrop..”
Day two: The paid climbed the Col de la Madeleine, a 2,000 metre high mountain pass connecting La Chambre in Maurienne with La Lecehere in Tarentaise. This was a 6,000 feet climb, with 26k of it a straight up-hill climb. This section of the climb had “more hairpins than the haberdashery department at Harrods.”
Again, our cyclists were working in 36c.
Day three: A reprieve! A 2,642 metres downhill descent from Col du Galibier into a rain and possibly hail shower at 38mph. Even Tim, the king of downhill racers, took this descent a little steady – but this could be due in part to the cars that were holding them up. However, after this point the road is next to absolutely nothing but fresh air.
Meanwhile, the bikes received a little maintenance in preparation for Alpe d’Huez tomorrow....
Day four: John and Tim took on Alpe d’Huez today. Enough said.
Day five: Following a rest day, the team visited Mont Ventoux: Another day, another Tour de France climb. Of course, they didn’t go for the easy option. No, they chose the harder route from Bedouin which demanded 12 miles of cycling up at an average of 10% and 1,350 metres climbing. Plenty of cars overtook John on the way up, but as the way down took 23 minutes, not many passed John as he flew back down.