Etoile de Bessèges: Stage 3

I thought I had my timing worked out perfectly for a drive up to Alès and a hilly 40 km ride before catching the pros at the Col de Portes, a few kilometers into the Cèvennes. I was nearly foiled by the remarkable traffic on the ‘rocade’ (ring road) of Alès, which took me nearly as long to navigate as my first climb into the mountains. Apparently this town has not got the work-at-home order memo.

It’s always good to get back to the Cèvennes, and the contrast of that busy road with my 2nd climb up to the Col de Begude is what this place is all about. The only car I saw on this 7 km climb was the La Poste van making its rounds.

I had forgotten how easy this climb was, so I ended up making it to the Col de Portes with 10 minutes to spare. I even had time to risk it all for you, dear reader, by taking a little video of part of a most enjoyable little road that typifies the never-ending twists and turns you get in these mountains.

Finally, what I thought was the whole race coming over the col. It turned out to be a massive breakaway that got whittled down as the race went on, with Tim Wellens TTing for the win in Bessèges.

8 thoughts on “Etoile de Bessèges: Stage 3

  1. I may just have to loop that little video for my indoor rides. I did one this morning and i think he was using a motorcycle to film it as he was accelerating uphill. I like suffering with the guy who has made the video.

      • I just use YouTube and the last one was going up Col du Sabot. I can see why these guys use a motorcycle. They can film multiple climbs in a day without breaking into a sweat. An ideal cycling video for me allows me to see the stats (distance, speed, elevation, etc), relatively quiet roads (I’m not fighting traffic) and scenery. I think the video I watched is also used in spin classes so one pays more attention to the instructor then the speed traveling up (although there was an app option to regulate the speed)

        • Interesting. I’ve never used a video like this for training yet. I should try it out sometime. Then again, I’ll never run out of old cycling races to watch, and even if I’ve seen it before there’s a good chance I don’t remember who won!

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