of Mont Blanc in Two
- part 4
early start was called for so bread, chocky spread, swiss roll and rather
strong coffee were all consumed with equal aplomb. Camelbacks packed we
headed off onto the awaiting singletrack. All things considered we felt
pretty good and cold muscles soon warmed leaving us to look forward to
the days riding.
the refuge all of the morning riding was concerned with gaining altitude,
culminating in the Col De La Siegne, the Italian/French border. Again
the climb up is absolutely stunning, riding alongside a meltwater river
on rocky tracks whilst looking at the back of Mont Blanc and its hanging
glaciers, superb. The last part of the climb is a carry/ride depending
upon what’s going on in yer legs. Unsurprisingly there wasn't much
in Bones’ or mine so a bit of a push ensued.
At the top once again, breathtaking views were the order of the day. One
thing I was sure about was how damn fine the descent is to the donkey
farm. Without a shadow of a doubt this bad boy is my favourite descent,
period. Loads of singletrack line choices, drops, jumps, chutes, exposure,
rocks, it really has got a bit of everything. Refreshed from the nights
rest its fair to say that the trail got a good spanking, nailed top to
bottom. The last plunge down to the donkey farm is steep and exhilarating
and concentration levels had to be maintained.
quick blast up on a bit of tarmac and then more down on super fast road
towards Chapiex and the start of the Courmet De Rosaland climb of Tour
de France fame.
A huge open road meant there was no chance of shielding from the wind
on the climb so we just got on with it. It was at this point that I started
to get the odd twinge in my right knee. No prob I thought after all I
had just forced it to do an immense amount of riding in a short space
of time, a bit of deep heat and away we go. Little did I know...
Maybe the road guys are on to something. The descent to Lac Rosaland is
plain rude. Balls to the wall fast tarmac, air-o-tuck ahoy. Cutting the
bends in the road and standing up in the corners to help slow down, you
feel like a superbike rider, mmm I wonder how fast you would go on a road
We rode around the lake and bypassed the hotel that would usually mark
the end of the 4th day of the tour and started the first of three cols
that would take us home. By now the knee was hurting a bit more, ah well
bring on the deep heat.
Up and over
the first Col we dropped down and started on the biggest up of the day.
In total the climb has about twenty switchbacks in it so you can imagine
that if your knee suddenly went and you were unable to pedal it could
be a bit of a problem. Well... that’s just what happened to me.
For some reason on each pedal stroke the pain in my knee had become immense
making me feel all a bit sick. Due to the position we were in I decided
that carrying on was the only option. Little did I know we were a long,
long way from the top of the Col and the pain got worse and worse the
more I moved it.
The trail in itself was spot on 4x4 nice kind of middle ring climbing
and at the top there was a carry of about twenty to thirty minutes. I
found that if a pedalled in the saddle the pain was just about bearable,
however due to my bum chaffing, sitting down was becoming less and less
of an option but standing up put more pressure on my knee. I knew the
only way for me to get to the top was by using the swearing method. Many,
many profanities later and we were stood on the Col de La Gitte. I knew
that sweet singletrack would take us down towards the Col Du Joly but
all things considered I wanted it all to be over. Aching fingers and feet
took more punishment as we dropped down to the Col Du Joly road on rocky
loose, under normal circumstances, sweet singletrack.
Bike Tour of Mont Blanc Part 1 - Mountain
Bike Tour of Mont Blanc Part 2 - Mountain
Bike Tour of Mont Blanc Part 3 - Mountain
Bike Tour of Mont Blanc Part 4 - Mountain
Bike Tour of Mont Blanc Part 5
Du Mont Blanc Holiday