Day 1 – Archamp to Chamousset

5 Sep

We were allowed a leisurely start by Gideon, our tour manager, so the group convened in the car park at 8am for the off….

The view of the mountain from the night before was shrouded in cloud.  In the “flesh” however, it didn’t disappoint – just a roundabout and a junction away from the hotel, we started climbing  – through pasture land, a couple of villages, a bit of autoroute and finally crested the hill next to a chateau…

 

Our hotel?  Er…no.  from the top of this hill we weaved downwards through more farmland and forest to Annecy, a beautiful city by a lake.  After a tuck stop (I even had a Nutella sandwich) we set off along the lake – for a short time dodging lorries – before starting the ascent to the first “official” Col of the trip.

The red mist descended for our strongest cyclists and the pace was unrelenting to the top – 12km of solid climbing.  Needless to say, I was not among the lead group – too early in the trip for heroics, I thought (plus I was knackered).  That said, no one was really left behind and we soon sat down for a “proper” lunch at Hotel La Baratte, which is a ski lodge in the winter…

 

Very respectable menu and Sophie the waitress was noteworthy.  All things considered, an excellent first lunch and a pleasant surprise for those expecting sarnies the whole way.

From there, we had an undulating descent into a high valley and then a gentle but testing (headwind) ascent to the last Col of the day.  The last stretch was quite tough, not least because I pushed to stay with a group of better riders – felt proper pooped at the top, though thankfully the last tuck stop of the day was near the Col.

After cresting the Col there was a seriously steep and quick descent into the next valley.  In metres, we descended more than we ascended today and the severity was apparent from those coming the other way – the sort of punishment we are in for tomorrow onwards.

Near the floor of the valley, Jason and I stopped for a photo opp among the scenery and the vineyards…too stunning for words…

 A final stretch of level and sunny ground to the hotel…not quite a chateau and quite a challenge to hold the shower head and wash at the same time, but a very welcome place to dry the kit (top right window)…

Still have to get through dinner, so may blog later if still coherent (from the fatigue, you understand…)

Our thoughts are with those in Bermuda threatened by Hurricane Leslie – looks like it is arcing in for a direct hit on Sunday morning. 

Best wishes.  Charlie

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6 Responses to “Day 1 – Archamp to Chamousset”

  1. Megan September 5, 2012 at 6:27 pm #

    Hey Dad,

    looks like the first day was a success!!Hope you guys aren`t all feeling too knackered; and good luck with the coming days.
    Megsxx

    PS. I told you I`d comment..

  2. una September 5, 2012 at 7:15 pm #

    hope the 18 lunatics are alive and well !

  3. TIM September 5, 2012 at 8:41 pm #

    Amazing day-keep it up!

  4. Elin Daniels September 5, 2012 at 10:05 pm #

    Go the G2MC boys- keep up the good work !!! More dodgy Lycra shots, please. Love to you all. Elin xx

  5. Gordy Benson September 6, 2012 at 12:24 am #

    Looking good Chaps. Keep up spirits and energy with Vin Rouge and Raclette. God Speed and Good Luck.

    Gordy

  6. Lynn September 8, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

    Well done everyone! Have a Glass of wine for me!
    Lynn

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