Albertville

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Registration went smoothly. Did a quick tour including a trip to the Rapha stall for my free coffee. Sitting on the bus looking at the dark clouds covering the mountains and wondering what rain gear to bring

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L’equipe

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Hugh relaxing waiting for his late breakfast/early lunch. Heading to Albertville shortly for the registration. No cycling today but had a few extra drinks last night and are a little hungover this morning

Col du Chaussy

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Last day of hard riding before etape. Was to be the easiest day so far however a small unnamed climb turned out t to be an Haut category monster. Day was enjoyable but harder than I wanted. In addition my deraileur malfunction. One of the guys kindly came to my assistance. It seems okay now but I need to take it for a spin tomorrow to check all is join order

Le Croix

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Great day on the bike. Left the hotel and turned right after 50 metres. A sign that said ‘Col de Croix de Fer 29km’ and bang a hill. Easy gear and slowly slowly up the hill. The views were spectacular with Paragliders sweeping over my head and talking to us offering encouragement. I kept my heart rate steady and had enough in the tank to finish the last three km in style. A fantastic sweeping decent through Col de Glandon followed and we pulled up by a shady lake before cycling the 10 km back to our hotel at St Jean de Maurienne.

Col de Telegraphe

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First day riding. It started off close and cloudy but the Skies cleared as I got to the last Km of the 12Km climb to col de Telegraphe. I took things easy and opted to do the short route today. I was surprised that I was the only one who turned back. I was accompanied by our Masseuse Carl. He casually announced that he had done the Ras six times and had come sixth! I half wheeled him up Col de Telegraphe and then he had to wait for me at the bottom as I descended slowly as road surface was loose. Regret not going up the Galibier but think I made the right choice. Sitting on bed watching TdeF with Hugh. We miss Brendan but Hugh is talking to him on phone as I write. Roll on tomorrow

First impression

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7 days to go- weather forecast for Act I not looking great. Sitting in Airport hotel prior to flying to Lyon tomorrow. Just got a text from my bike to say she has arrived in France. Looking forward to getting to France and riding (through the rain )