Well the TDF is over for another year. It was sad to Cadel come up short for a second year in a row, but second at the TDF is pretty good!!!
Thanks to everyone for your emails and kind words from back home. The trip was awesome but i miss you all. It was great to hear what was going on. The only problem i have now is that it si freeze here at home. I return yesterday and man! it is cold.
I have posted a few photos from the last couple days of the TDF and the last stages finish in Paris.
Look forward to seeing you all and boring you with some more photos.
Location: Aple d'Huez, France
Yesterday was a monster!! We headed out for a 145km ride taking in 4 mountain passes. The Col du Galibier, Col de Telegraphe, Cole de la Croix de Fer and just to finish us off Aple dHuez. After checking 1 of our riders altitude meter on their bike we realised we had complete 3600m elevation of climbing. It was a long day in the saddle but well worth the effort. Scenery was spectacular and the 20km to 30km descents made the climbs almost bearable. The only down side was not breaking the 1hour mark for the climb up Aple dHuez, missed out by just under 1 min. Next time it may help to have not ridden 130km before starting the climb up Aple DHuez.
Today we have a day off for the Aple dHuez party on top of the mountain. The TDF finishes here today so it is time to relax and enjoy.
There are some great photos of the long ride
Ciao and will see you all in little over a week.
Well its time for the TDF riders to get serious as well head into the Alps. The TDF yesterday headed into Italy so we stayed in France to ride the infamous Mont Ventoux. Ventoux can be seen almost from anywhere in the Provence. Mount Ventoux is not as high as other mountains in the Alps but its climb to the summit is steep the entire 21km of the ascent, where the gradient of the climb consisantly averages 8.5% to 10%. It is steep and long
We had an easy 30km ride which turned into 37km when the Garmin sent us up a dirt road!! But it is all part of the adventure. We had thunder storms and rain on the climb which cooled things down but made the fast descent pretty slippery. I videoed the descent which has come out ok, it was a shame about the wet roads and rain when coming down, not as fast as I would have liked but ok.
Today it is the first day off the bike since the start of the TDF as when transfer to the Alps, staying on the famous Mt Alpe dHuez for the next 3 nights.
Ciao and will see you all in little over a week.
Today was a chance to go to the race start at Lannemezan. Only an aesy 50km ride but still had a 6km climb near the end to wake us all up. It was great to see our own Australian Cadel Evans in the yellow jersey. With have a 110km ride tomorrow up the Pic de Nore. They tell me it is not to hard "i dont believe them".
Check out the photos of Cadel
Location: Pyrenees, France
Today was a rest day for the TDF but for us it was our last day in the Pyrenees. So we had to make the most of it. Our ride was 80km up to the Col D Soulor and continue onto the Col D Aubisque. Working out to be around 30km of climbing. Great view from on top. It is an interesting ride up and and even more interesting descent when you not only have to worry about dropping 70m over a straight drop off but avoid horse, cows and goats which enjoy standing in the middle of the rode. Almost hit a large mountain horse at 60KPH when coming around corner to see him standing there. It was funny afterwards
Tomorrow is an easy 50km ride to start of race which will be nice. Ridden around 800km in last 10 days with a few mountains thrown in.
Photos from todays ride are great.
Over the last 2 days we have hit the mountains. First day was the Col D Aspin and 2nd day the monster " Tourmalet". Today was 110km with the Tourmalet to test your legs, 17km climb to 2100m. The descent is awesome i even impressed myself with how fast we were going just don't look over the edge!! Crowds were starting to build 5hours before race, truely amazing. We have another big day tomorrow with another mountain.
Miss you all, check out the photos.
It has been a bid few days of riding and watching the Tour. The day before last we headed out to feed area on course which was great, massive crowds. We lined up for 2 hours for a hotdog cooked on log fire. Eyes were burn and cloths smelt of smoke but all worth it.
Yesterday we rode to start of timetrial. Meet a few of the Pro's and was good to see Cadel make good time on rivals for overall title.
Today was big with 135km ride to race and to the Chinon Chateau, slight headwind on way home which is nice to finish you off. Tomorrow is and easy 50km ride before we head back to Paris to drop group off and pick up next group for the next 18 days.
Met great people, great stories and fantasic riding.
Check out the new photos.
Location: Tour, France
Great day today. We road ou to start today with a return trip, easy 90km with head wind with rain!!!! Got home in time to watch finish on TV and bar with a few quite drinks.
Worked a little magic today and got into the VIP area. Walked in and was stop by French police when he asked if i was a pro cyclist, my reply "wee" and said sorry and please go through. Wow Need to look at photo of stage 2 as i have tracked down the aussies!! But highlight was photo with "JENS", big big fan.
Looking forward to a big dinner.
The Tour is here!!
Well what a start to this year's Tour. After a windy 90km ride to todays finish we all got a great spot to watch the finish 150m from finish line. The crowds were great and everyone was pretty excited. Good to see all the one day classic riders and GC riders going for the stage, wow who would have seen that. It looks like rain tomorrow and we have a 100km ride from start of Tour back to the hotel, fingers crossed they are wrong.
Location: New York, USA
Marty and i are in the Big Apple at the moment. It is truely "big". It is one place you must see, always busy and always something to do. Martine would like to report the shopping is great as well. Our place w e are staying is 50m from Time Square! People here are friendly which is surprisng with their reputation. Hope to go to a Yankees game today if we can get tickets or it could be the Sex in the City movie!! Ouch.
I will post some photos in a day or so.
Location: London, England
We are currently in London, England. The land of warm beer and chips! and believe it or not sunshine. We have had great weather for the 3 days we have been here. It has been great to catch up with our very close freind Heidi, who has been our offical tour guide. We have see all the normal sights and visisted a few London pubs as well. Last night we ventured down to West End to see the Hairspare the musical. It is easy to get around on the tube and good that we understand everyone as well. We head to New York first thing in the morning, looking forward to using dollars instead on pounds, ouch!
Check out the photos
Location: Paris, France
Have spent the last few days ticking off the sights of Paris. With the help of the ever friendly French!! No, it has been great. The went to see the moaning lady "Lisa" at the Louvre. The Champs Elysees where next month the riders of the Tour will be flying down for the last stage. The Eiffel Tower is great and we where lucky to get to the top on a pretty good day. But the highlight was the Moulin Rouge, located in an area that makes Kings Cross look like Noosa. Thats all for now, check out the photos.
Location: Paris, France
Well we hit paris today. It is a big change from the rest of France. We must admit we miss Italy quite a lot as the French have lived up to their reputation as being less than friendly so far. Paris looks to be different, we had a nice young boy try to pick pocket both of us a minute apart which was funny. In the photos look for the boy in orange in bottom right of photo. It was pretty funny when he tried. We have a tour tomorrow followed by naked women in the night, The Moulin Rouge!!
Location: Nice, France
We find ourselves in Nice at the moment. Just finished a great stay in Santa Margherita a few km's from Portofino. Amazing, happy to retire there now! As you will see scooters are the way to get around. Once again we happen to meet up with friends just walking down the street. Karren and her 2 wounderful daughters where stuck with us for a few days and also several high speed laps of the local area on scooters!!!
Location: Santa Margherita, Italy
We had a great couple of days in Rome, plenty of history and pretty amazing on what they built and how. I guess the most amazing thing about Rome is the driving!!! Every set of traffic lights is like the front row of a Moto GP start, the light turns green and off everyone goes flat out. There are no road rules except that they stop for red lights other than that its anything goes, but no road rage at all. Today we headed to Santa Margherita near Portifino, wow it is truly beautiful. Similar to Noosa but larger. Very nice. Looking forward to a day on scooters which will be great bring on the speed
For all those who know Freddy, he had a misunderstanding is a car in the USA. Bad head and back injuries and is currently in hospital but believe he will be ok. We are currently in negotiations with Rhonda to get the speed hump award she won at Giro for crashing to send to the USA for Freddy.
Location: Florence, Italy
Martine and i are slowly eating our way through Italy. Food is great! We spent a few days on Lake Como straight after teh Giro for the legs to recover. Which is beautiful.
We spent 2 days in Venice. It is amazing to see a city built on water and the streets are like a maze. It is place you need to see but 2 days is enough.
We have been in Florence for the past 3 days and today we head to Roma. Florence is great and has interesting history. We have been on a few tours around town and out to Pisa to see the tower. If you want anything leather Florence is your pick, just ask Martine!!
Location: Florence, Italy
Time for some sight seeing and to get fat before the Tour De France. Just left Venice and we are in Florence for a few days before heading to Rome. We have eating our way through Italy so far. Hope all is well at home and hope to get some more great cycling photos to your soon with the Tour.
Location: Como, Italy
Sorry for the long delay for the next update of the blog, the internet as most things are in Italy are erratic. The last 2 days of the Giro were great. The second last day was most likely the hardest day of the Giro with 3 mountain passes. 1st Passo Gavia and 2nd the scary Passo Del Mortirolo (hardest climb in Italy. The 3rd mountain was an easy 15km at 3.2%. Our ride for the day was a 90km ride to Edolo where the race will pass through twice during todays stage. For some extra fun you had the option of riding to the summit of the Mortirolo, you just had to ride up hill for 14kkm to get to the start of the climb. For those who decided to stay on top of the Mortirolo for a while where given a taste of mother natural with snow blocking the road, hale and rain. Fantastic yet scary descent into the town of Edolo to see the race pass through and watch the finish on TV in local cafe.
The last day of the Giro was a 28km time trial. Flat to slight down hill. But first things first a small group on hard core riders wanted to finish with an easy 50km ride along the shore of Lake Como and 12km climb up to the Shrine to Cyclists. The shrine is a small chapel overlooking Lago di Lecco at Magrelio. Beautiful views! Then it was off to the start of the time trial. It was time to check out all the latest gear the pro get to use and we see 6months later in your local bike shop. Check out the photos
It helps to know an ex-pro who is very famous in Italy. Freddy had organised for our good friend Rhonda to follow a rider during the time trial in the Mavic support car!!!! Wow. But the story does not end there, at the last minute as we were leaving the start area to head to the finish I was dragged out of our bus and told to run the 1km to the Tinkoff team bus and ask for the Team director. Freddy had organised a ride in the Tinkoff team car following one of their riders during the time trial. It was awesome driving through the crowds 3m behind the ride. The boys and move as the cars speedo rarely dropped below 57km for the entire ride.
What a way to finish!!!!
No time for a holiday, stay tuned for some more photos of trip and also the Tour De France.
Finally the rain came. We missed out on riding the Passo del Mortirolo for a safer option on the Passo della Aprica. The Mortirolo is rated as the 2nd hardest climb in Europe at 12.8km and avergae incline of 10.8% it is for seriuos climbers only.
Instead the 13.8km climb at 6% incline of the Aprica was a little easier!!
Our hotel now is at Lago Iseo a beautiful town and is nears todays Giro Stage finish.
Due to the rain there are no photos but i have put together some of the best shots from the trip.
It was time to hit the Stelvio again for those who missed out on riding it yesterday. Well it doesn't get any easier the second time. It was a little cooler this time but still great weather. This time Freddy and i decided to time trial down the descent which was both funa nd scary at the same time with strong cross winds. Please check out some more great photos.
Location: Stelvio, Italy
Today was cycling heaven. We had a 4 hour bus trip to hotel for the next few days. Which happens to be at the base of the famous Passo Di Stelvio. 20km of climbing to 2745m above sea level. The descent was interesting. There are several tunnels from 150m to 200m long which have no lights and have turns in side of them. Going through them at 70kph and not being able to see 30m in front of you is a bit scary when you realise that you need to turn as you are heading for a rock wall. decided to slow down for the next few tunnels. The pictures tell the story, just awesome day on the bike!! and we get to do it again tomorrow.
Miss you all
I joked before i left home "saying that i would be thinking of you all" and yes i am. I just havea big smile on my face!!!
Today was an easy ride for the group, an easy 60km ride to local town for a brunch and a chance to spin the legs before an epic day tomorrow.
Tomorrow we ride the Passo Di Stelvio. What can i say except it is the hardest climb in Italy, 24km at 7.9% .Some riders are looking at 3hours for the climb and will be greated by snow at the top. At an altitude of 2745m it is 600m higher than Australia's highest mountain " nice". We need to check early to see if the climb is open due to large rock slides this afternoon. If unable to get up the front side of climb we will do the 'easier 20km climb at 7%" instead to the summit.
Photos on today blog are from Bolzano and todays easy spin.
Ciao everyone, thinking of you all
Today was the second day in the mountains. We road to the Village of Pozza Di Fasso hinden in the mountains. The only problem was the 27km climb!!! to get to the top of the Passo Di Costalunga. Beautiful climb.
The best part of the day was the decent, top speed around 85KPH, hard to go faster as you run out of gears.
Check out the awesome photos, and yes it is snow!
Today was the first of the big day in the mountains. With the final climb of the day averaging 9.4%, ouch!!!! Most of the race favorites marked each other with a hard day tomorrow to come. As you can see from the photos it was a little cold. Check out the snow
Over the last couple of days we have been camped at Stresa. Stresa is a major tourist centre on the shores of Lake Maggiore. Check out the great photos.
Today we had an easy ride from Stresa to Bolzona at the foot hills of some great climbs. As you can see there is still snow on th emountain peaks which we tackle tomorrow.
Saturday we have 2 climbs. The first climb is 20km and a litle steep! and then from there it gets hard with a 15km climb average 9.4%.
Will have some great photos of Saturdays ride soon.