Neutral start was only 10 km though the roads were pretty bumpy. With a downhill warmup we went up the first climb Col des Saisies at race pace on a sweet average grade 7%. I was back to my old self climbing big chain ring (50 cog) and hung with the 2nd peloton of guys. The lead woman on the mixed team was super strong to keep with the front pack.
We passed through the town Bourg-St-Maurice which was different in its square building structures and not typical Euro scenic.
It was hot today, 32C, though fortunately the first two climbs were shaded most of the way. The last climb to Les Arcs 1800 ski resort would have been favourable for me with a nice 6-7% grade. Now we were climbing in the hot sun and energy levels were lower. I decided to ease my pace, chatting with a few riders that passed by.
|Cool bike markers every km - race photo|
I chilled at my slo-mo pace and contemplated I’m at the point of packing in racing high-end. I truly miss racing “fast”. It used to be so easy. Finally made it to the top, yay! hot!
|view on my walk with woman racer Gabi to the Race Briefing|
Tomorrow’s stage scares me mostly being on the exposed climbs in the heat. 4000m elevation gain. Game plan is to bring my camera, chill out and have fun!