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.