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We've left Lourmarin with some sorrow, but soon perked up when we got into the Alps. It's been a perfect day, the trees are turning Autumn colours and although it's 26 degrees there's snow on the high tops. Briancon has this amazing fort built to keep the Italians out many years ago. Tomorrow we go over the mountain to Italy toward ...
... with the minimal level of risk and having learnt lessons previously from the Passo D'Stelvio (arrived on a Sunday - when all Italian Ferraris and sports bike riders get out to shake off some cobwebs). A sleep in was seriously tempting in the fabulous hotel, however I wanted to beat the tourists and other bike riders so as not to eat their dust, diesel fumes and be safer. By request I pushed my bike away from the garage door and fired her up. The unmistakable burble of the BMW's ...
... without thought - gently feeling the bike beneath you, a slight feathering of the brakes or throttle to control speed. Curves that are gentle, that open up before you like a beautiful panorama and just like the best 'flowing' mountain bike trails, you automatically adjust weight on the bike as the bends sweep from left to right and right to left. The sensation afterwards makes you want to punch your fist In the air, shout and tell everyone how good the feeling was. You know the ...
Today we had a 20.1km climb at 5.5%. It was overcast but thankfully the rain held off until we were arriving at the campsite. Our SPOT tracker has died today, so unfortunately shows us still in Guilestre! We plan to carb load now as have a huge day tomorrow up the Cime de la Bonette (2802m), a 23.1km climb at 6.5%. Yikes. Also saw our first sign to the finish line in Nice ...
Today we went up and over the Col d'Izoard (2361m). The guidebook implies it is an easy day as it it's just 9.4km at 4.2% followed by 10.1km at 7.5%. But it was anything but. On day 8 our legs are tired so it felt bloomin hard work, but it was worth it as it is a stunning route. We have done it before from the ...