Col du Firstplan
At last it’s the first.
With the Col du Platzerwasel successfully ticked off, it was time to make my way for my final Vosges climb, the Col du Firstplan (surreal).
The descent had been a challenge of balancing the urge for a fast descent against the loose gravelled bends.
After a few interesting moments, I was back on the wide smooth tarmac, heading to the Col du Firstplan at Soultzmatt via my campsite.
On my route, an open café/épicerie suddenly caught my eye, and the opportunity for cake and a double espresso to calm myself down was too good an option to resist.
The next problem was explaining to my legs that the day was not over yet as my “Café stop legs” groaned at the thought of more climbing.
Shut up legs
The Firstplan is a 5/10 climb of 8.35Km up from Soultzmatt.
The average is 5.5% with a maximum of 10.7%, not too demanding despite the heat.
The legs were still not happy despite the gentle 2% start, but an 8% reality check brought them back into line.
Unfortunately, as with most Vosges climbs, the scenery is virtually non-existent.
Once you have left the town, the tree lined ascent becomes denser, but it provided a sense of solitude as I steadily climbed.
At the Col du Firstplan summit, there was no celebration, landmarks or auberge. Trees, trees, and more trees were the order of the day.
The branches swayed every now and again, only allowing brief glimpses of the landscape.
The Vosges’ climbs were complete, and it was now time to consider an interesting diversion off-piste from the TdF 100 climbs.