18.5 km / 1500 m+ / 0 m-
|Pretty consistent grade until the couple km|
The Col du Tourmalet is one of the highest roads in central Pyrenees (with only public side roads abit higher). The Tour de France has visited Tourmalet over 82 times since 2012.
Looked forward to my later race start with the time trial, though had another rough night with coughing once laying down to sleep. I liked hearing the church bells start the day at 7 a.m. and ending at 9 pm. At 30 minutes past the hour, there was just one ding.
I took an easy pace warm-up 18 km to Luz-Saint-Sauveur for the time trial start. It helped to have Iron Rider Ralph from Switzerland come by as following him upped my pace. He noted I had a cough as did he. His started a few days into his first event, the Dolomites race. He said his cough came back during the Pyrenees event.
|time trial start ramp - photo Haute Route twitter|
|Fighting to counter the imbalanced hold! photorunningfr|
|Phew, made it without tipping! photorunning.fr|
|A pic of Amy's battle of the lopsided hold! too funny in a way|
Off I dashed for a nice sprint interval until I saw the timing mat sign. I forgot that the actual starting mat was another km down the road. Good warm-up!
|Long straight road after Barèges average 7% grade - photo Manu Molle|
It was not long before Jon Bula from Vancouver passed me. Once he was 30m ahead, I picked up my pace as I realized I had ridden his pace the prior day. I kept that 30m distance for a few kilometres. A lot of hobby riders were out for a leisure ride. I passed only a few early starting racers later on-route.
After a 12% grade section to get out of one village, I finally approached the first few turns to the road. The grade still 7-8% though seemed tougher as the top was seen high up in the distance.
|Into the beautiful open landscape up Col du Tourmalet|
- photo Manu Molle
|Post Time Trial at the top of Col du Tourmalet, I'm in red jersey headed for a photo with Octave - photo Twitter Haute Route|
Many photos were taken with the statue of Octave Lapize. The statue was put up in honour of Octave who was the first racer to the top of Col du Tourmalet held in the Tour de France in 1910.
Had a nice fast descent with a couple riders from “Team Tyred and Tested!”. On the gentler grade back to Argelès-Gazost, I followed one rider at a nice easy pace into town.
|Relaxing via Compex... with Canadian riders Jim Salusbury (left) and Jon Bula (right). My roomie Vanessa from France sitting in the white chair kept me company|
|A POC aero helmet for the top riders in the TT|
- nice astronaut look though aero!
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