Against The Clock: Haute Route Stage Three

After two lackluster days on the road I felt like ‘givin er’ and luckily we only had a 12 km time trial to blast through before massage time. Of course, this being Haute Route, these 12 km came with an average of 9%, finishing at an elevation of 2413 meters (col du Granon). Givin’ er meant fighting a lot of heavy gravity.

Time trials in Haute Route take the same form as you’re used to seeing on TV, i.e. the slowest go first and the quickest (or best ranked, I should say) go last. Riders leave in 20 second intervals, meaning that you either focus on the ‘slower’ ones ahead and try to hunt them down, or the ‘faster’ ones behind who are breathing down your neck. Either way it’s a little stressful, so I just looked at my stem, opened my mouth wide, and started gasping for air.


I was passed by only one rider on the way up and I got past a few. I put everything I had into this one-hour effort and nearly collapsed at the top. I was sure I’d taken a few spots back on the day, but, as is often the case, everyone else seemed to be pulling hard, too, and I finished in 168th, a spot I was now identifying as my natural place in the world.

Still, the view was nice.

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Till I turned the camera around, that is. I’m not making a kissy face, by the way. Just trying to express the discomfort I was feeling at the time. I don’t think it translated that well, but you can be the judge.

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On the way down a few of us stopped to watch the big boys come up, with eternal winner Peter Pouly pulling up the rear. He finished 20 minutes faster than me. Seems the gravity wasn’t quite as heavy for him.

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7 thoughts on “Against The Clock: Haute Route Stage Three

  1. Hi Gerry, not sure if that photo is conveying discomfort. How about “eww I sweated a puddle”. Or “ow, maybe I’ll take that motorcycle next time”. Or “ooohh nice butt”. 😎 Sorry couldn’t resist. Noticed your helmet is a Poc. Just read about them. What do you think of them?

    • I agree. It just didn’t translate the way I wanted it to! POC, other than looking really weird, fit me great and are quite ‘airy’. Oh, and they’re super expensive, if you like that sort of thing 😉

  2. It’s not fair others were given bigger engines… It’d be interesting to see the HR time distribution–I wonder whether it fits a normal distribution? Would also be interesting to see the avg W/kg; my prediction is that would correlate very strongly with the time and rank (yes, I love analytics :). So Gerry, how does your strength (and the rest of the field) compare with 2yr ago?

    • I can’t speak to my strength compared to 2013 because I didn’t have a power meter, but my guess is that my W/kg was less this year. I was a little heavier for one. I am sure that with better training I could have been 20 or 30 places higher this year. But maybe everyone else will just be better trained next time, too!

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