After the blow-out that was the time trial the day before, I was a little concerned how the legs would be on this 2nd ‘Queen Stage’. This one wasn’t planned, and was just one of many cycling events that changed as a result of the collapsing tunnel on the road between Briancon and le Bourg d’Oisans (La Marmotte and the Tour de France being two other notables).
So, instead of 108 km/3000 meters of climbing, we had 167 km and 4200 meters, crossing the Lautaret, Galibier, Croix de Fer, then finishing on Les Deux Alpes. A pretty big day in the mountains.
It was 3 C when we left Serre Chevalier and I felt great. I felt so good, in fact, that on the climb up to the Lautaret I couldn’t find a group to ride with that was going fast enough, so I rode it all by myself. This stretch, along with the 8km climb to the top of Galibier, was the best I would be for the whole week. I was the 131st fastest up Galibier and 151st on the day. This was as good as it got.
The day was long and hard but when you’ve got the legs nothing seems to matter. I guess the secret would be how to make sure you’ve got them every day, but until Day Five rolled around I wasn’t concerned. It was just a wonderful day to hammer on the bike.