Grand Hotel Sestriere
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Lake Garda, Italy
After getting the call to "Go North", we headed off from Milan's oppressive heat and we thought that it might be a bit cooler if we put a few degrees of latitude under our belts...
Ha! Who's kidding who?
Distance: 55 km
Ascent: 1,359 m
Descent: 1,550 m
We took: 4h 20m
Technically we should be in Guillestre this evening, but the nearest accommodation we could book is just up the road from there, in a small village called Risoul. We had a quick look around Guillestre, enjoyed a couple of pression, couldn't really find anywhere nice to eat so we came back up to Risoul to eat at a local Auberge just down from our gîte: La maison de ...
No cycling today!
We've looked back on some trips we've done in the past and thought it would've been nice to spend more than a single evening in one place, so for this trip we planned a day off.
Paul Henderson in his 'Cycling the French Alps' book recommends Briançon as a good place to spend a day off the bike, so we took his advice.
Briançon is the highest city in France, at 1,326 m. Our hotel, 'Le Temple' is ...
... look at elevation profiles I don't actually believe them, but we could have free wheeled for the first 20km of our ride today. We made the most of it.
St. Jean de Maurienne is the town at the foot of the Col du Télégraphe. We stopped briefly just to take a layer of clothing off before starting the climb. The first few kilometres meander through a residential area before rising through woodland, revealing impressive views of the valley we had just cycled ...
... open). €3 for a coffee in a paper cup seemed a bit of a rip off, but they definitely had cornered the market at the 2,770m pass.
We prepared for the descent with leg warmers and jackets, but as soon as we got onto the south side of the mountain we cycled into rain and hail. We got extremely cold, especially our hands, and had to stop for a few minutes to try to warm them as braking had become difficult.
Luckily the ...