Returning to ‘been there, done that’, yesterday’s exciting stage included 3 climbs that I’ve done one or more times over the years. The very first big one on Stage 9 was the Hourcère, which I’m pretty I climbed on the first day of Haute Route Pyrenees. The 2nd climb of the day (Soudet) was also on my route last year, before finishing at the ski station of Pierre St. Martin, near the Spanish border. It was eventful day, with some of my comrades cramping (one walked to the finish line) and one abandoning the race altogether. I had my only really good day.
I’m fairly certain that I’ve never done the Col d’Ichère, but with my memory the way it is these days, there’s always a chance I have. I have climbed the Marie Blanque, though, where all the GC action occurred yesterday. The first time was in 2016 with John on the amazingly-named Quebrantahuesos sportive, which started in Spain. The Marie Blanque was the turnaround point. It was steep and pretty and all I remember was wondering why I had to ride all the back to Spain afterwards.