Today’s adventure would take us to our first real climb. I say this because the previous ones – Col du Aspin and Col du Soulor both had long sections of 1-2% and averaged out with a 5% gradient. The beast that is Luz, has a average of 9% over 13km. It is totally and utterly ouchy. Here is my Strava file.
We had to ride 35km to the base of Luz and were all rather cooked from our previous days efforts. So the first 20 or so km hurt…a lot! It was also about 30 degrees which literally cooked us as well.
The climb itself was just steep, uphill and steep. My legs were screaming every second. There was no rest, no where to hide on this one, apart from turning the switchbacks where the gradient eased off a little. The heat is the thing that got me. It was brutal, there was not much tree cover for the final 10km, it was beating down on me and I was sweating like a criminal. It felt like it went on forever, the sun beating down. I did not realise how many switchbacks there were until I looked back down. The view at the top was spectacular, so was the descent!
We were in struggle town on the way home, legs were burring, and we were burning. It was now the heat of the day and I was cooking. We were all a bit dehydrated and grumpy. We made a bee line for Argelles for food and water, with a minor detour to get my cable fixed at the local bike shop! The LBS was a Specialized dealer too! By the time the cable was fixed, we were out of there just in time to watch the end of the Tour in a bar, which made the final 20km home quite a crawl. But what a day, we did 100km, 1800m of climbing, all on rather cooked legs, under the searing sun. But I’m not complaining, at least it is not winter!
Hautacam tomorrow and watching the Tour pass our accommodation doorstep! Can’t wait! Though I hope my legs feel better.
You can follow me on Instagram @lowercasev. All photos taken on GoPro Hero 3+ Black edition.