Not quite what I wanted.
La Toussuire was near to my campsite at Saint Jean de Maurienne and after the Telegraphe, Galibier double yesterday, a relatively straightforward 6/10 was welcome.
Picking the segment up from the OpineI Penknife I expected a 6-7% jolt, but not the 8-9% that it was.
This is just outside the comfort zone.
Building up to 8-9% is manageable but enjoying it straight away with another 4Km was a tough opener.
I was not enjoying this at all.
Perhaps my ‘enthusiasm’ resulted from too many “Gali beers” last night.
The predicted high was 26C for the day. It was already at 29C.
The busy road for an early Sunday morning was just simply unpleasant.
A rider passed me at 5Km and after a quick exchange he went.
He wasn’t going that much faster, but I had no intention of grabbing a wheel for two reasons.
One: – I just didn’t feel like making the effort.
Two: – and more importantly, one of my pet hates.
Why some riders must have a phone blasting out beyond their soundtrack for all to ‘enjoy’ is beyond my comprehension.
Within another 2Km I was passed by a couple of other riders and accepted my role as carrot of the day.
I was ascending as though it was a chore, until the Km markers opened my eyes.
At first, they were only concerned in telling me how far I was up the Col de la Croix de Fer.
There was no official mention about La Toussuire but the faded graffiti on the road offered some reassurance.
When the road forked an abundance of markers reassuringly confirmed I was heading for La Toussuire.
The markers however displayed a figure 3Kms further to the summit than the Garmin which had been programmed with the TdF 100 segment route.
When the Garmin displays 7Km and the Km markers show 10Km on a ride that you are not overly enjoying it’s a character building experience.
With the ski resort now in sight, I dragged my way up the final 10%, then nervously checked my backup segment recording on my watch.
Confirmed – I had completed the La Toussuire segment for the TdF 100 list.
The mystery of the 3Km remained but I was not bothered. The Garmin route distance, elevation etc. all agreed with the segment.
Thank goodness, re riding La Toussuire would have been the stuff of nightmares.
I stopped for a coffee and sandwich and wondered how on earth some of those Brevet riders I saw yesterday were riding today.
At least I could call it a day and return to the campsite.
After a not really required sniff test of a bag full of cycling gear I decided to offer a challenge to the campsite washing machine while I retired to the bar intime for the TdF.