How I got ready for the Tour de Franceby Bike tour guru
DuVine guide Justin recently wrote this blog post in order to share his experiences on the types of mountains and passes ridden during the Tour de France. He completed this cycling as part of his preparation for our upcoming Alps to Paris Bike Tour, a DuVine Adventures Pro Series bike tour that takes guests along the route during the ongoing Tour de France race.
Trying to keep up with the Andy's.
Schleck and Levine that is. With the tour season well-underway, and the Tour de France season just starting, I took a break from biking and guiding to go, well, biking and guiding. I just can't seem or want to get away from my job! A friend from Pittsburgh came in to hang out for a week and maybe do some casual climbs up the Alpe d'Huez, the Galibier, the Cormet de Roseland, and the Col de l'Iseran. How could I say no!? So off to the Alps we went. With the DuVine's new Pro Series tours getting started, I knew I needed to get some miles in my legs to keep up.
The first day with my friend was a competitive jaunt up the 13 km of the Col de la Croix Fry, before settling in the French ski town of La Clusaz. The second day saw us scaling the beautiful Cormet de Roseland and descending to Bourg St. Maurice. On the third day, we went big and took on the Col de l'Iseran - the tallest pass in Europe at 2770 meters. It was 80 degrees in Bourg St. Maurice, and 40s on the Col with snow all around. We had twenty-five miles of climbing and an admittedly tasty and much-needed pizza in the middle of it.
Day 4 was only up to 2056 meters on the Col de Lauteret, starting a short distance below. La Meije rested above us as we wheeled our way up the gentle climb. With our eyes set on the peak, we kept pedaling away, our legs constantly in motion.
Even the next day, from Briancon to the Galibier, we didn't stop. The rain, the fog, the 41 degrees at the 2600+ peak, nothing managed to stop us. Though I wish I could say that I had a healthy dinner of pasta and some cooked veggies, that cold had seeped into my bones. Only fondue at the Vieux Guide could warm me up. It did exactly that, and it was delicious.
The lack of a more wholesome meal didn't seem to affect my ascent of the Alpe d'Huez the next day. My time wasn't close to Marco Pantani's 37 minute and 35 second record, but I was extremely happy to be riding those 21 curves. It's getting me ready to lead DuVine clients up there for the Tour de France, so we can see what Andy Schleck can do against Alberto Contador.
We all share Justin's excitement about the Tour de France and our Pro Series bikes tours. Riding up the climbs that the best cyclists in the world conquer year after year is a thrilling opportunity. Justin is training hard to be fit to get up those tough hills, and the Pro Series tours will surely challenge his fitness, how about coming along with Justin and seeing how well you can do!