Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Day 12 Col D'Izoard

Café just before the summit where we had coffee

Views from Col D'IZoard


On the climb up from Briancon

Today we were going to watch Stage 18 of the TDF but decided to ride the Col D'Izoard instead and watch the Tour tomorrow as the peloton climbs the Col Du Gladon in stage 19 .

This is another climb that features in TDF especially in the 1950s and today as I rode I saw Pantani's name still painted on the road. Today it was a straight 21km ride up to the top and rising about 1000m from the start at our Hotel at 1350m to 2350 m .It was also a route used since Roman times and by Napoleon . The climb was a gentle 5% start but quickly after 6 km started to steepen to 8and 7 % and was a hard climb with tired legs .I found it hard and slow going but the scenery as always was great.

After about 10kms and passing a village , the climb again starts to increase in gradient and there is spectacular view down through the valley towards Briancon. The climb that takes a series of switchbacks before a long 2km climb to a café and a final 1km from the café to the top. After a few pictures I rode down for 2kms down the other side but then rode back up to the café for coffee. The legs were definitely feeling the tiredness of 10days of climbing and riding with over 1000 to 2000m of climbing each day and several hundred kms in the 2 weeks I was feeling pretty tired.

Wikipedia on Col Du D'Izoard:

Col d'Izoard (2,360 m (7,743 ft)) is a mountain pass in the Alps in the department of Hautes-Alpes in France.
It is accessible in summer via the D902 road, connecting Briançon on the north and the valley of the Guil in Queyras, which ends at Guillestre in the south. There are forbidding and barren scree slopes with protruding pinnacles of weathered rock on the upper south side. Known as the Casse Déserte, this area has formed a dramatic backdrop to some key moments in the Tour de France, and often featured in iconic 1950s black-and-white photos of the race.[2