Haute Route, Stage 4: Serre Chavalier – Pra Loup

Stage 4Must make this quick because the internet up here in the woods is pretty sketchy.

Yesterday’s stage was well known to me because John and I had our Colombians on all those climbs just weeks ago. Course management didn’t help.

I felt like a champ on the first climb – Izoard – and put in a good time on it according to Strava. The decent down the southern side was incredible, and I was with Mark and Rob on it all, the 3 of us dressed out in our VC kit. Great, great fun.

Then we hit the Col de Vars. I was ready for this. I knew it’d be steep and hard. Somewhere along the line, though, my legs didn’t get the memo and I suffered up that one alone. I was also alone once we hit the Ubaye Valley on the other side, and that’s bad because we had 30 km or so to go on a flat with a headwind, till our last climb. I tried in vain to catch Victor, a massive Ukrainian dude, so I just chugged ahead till I was swallowed up by a big group, led by a fellow Canuck, Rob from Toronto.

I sucked back some more gels before the climb to Pra Loup and tried my best to power up it like I did last month. It was a slog, but mercifully short (7km) and I only lost a couple more positions on it. Surprisingly I nearly caught Rob on that climb. He’d had a puncture a ways back and never got back into the zone, he said. We finished two places apart on the day.

The internet is so bad here that I can’t wait long enough to get the results for you. But from my bad memory, I think they go something like this:

On the Day

Mark: 92nd place

Rob: 135th place

Gerry: 137th place

General Classification (after 4 days)

Mark: 82nd place

Rob: 109th place

Gerry: 111th place

Team Vicious Cycle: 26th place

In just a couple of hours we do the Cime de la Bonette time trial, up the highest paved road in Europe. I’m dreading it. My quads feel like someone’s been jumping on them all night. My only hope is that everyone else feels the same way! If there’s a day I need to find my Inner Jensie, it’s today.

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5 thoughts on “Haute Route, Stage 4: Serre Chavalier – Pra Loup

  1. Well done! The time trial would also be nerve wracking for me since I’ve never done one before, plus I’m not a big wattage, power guy, so it would be tough to pace on the climb like you can with a group. I’m sure you’ll do fine.

    • Aaron, you’ll need to transform yourself into a big wattage guy before next year because I’m sure there’ll be a mountain TT! You cannot imagine how tough this race was, by the way. It was 100% from the get-go and if you didn’t go hard you got spit out the back like lightning. You’ve been warned…luckily you’ve got a good year to train. Looking forward to hearing all about it.

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