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21st July 2016
Day 20, Malaucene to Roussillon

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Garmin route for today - - Strava route for today

 

Start time: 06:05
Start location: xxxx
Start weather: xxxx
Total millage so far: 937.55

Stops: xxxx

Finish time: 00.00
Finish location: xxxx
Finish weather: xxxx
Miles today: 43.79 - should have been 53.8 miles (Strava says - 56.5 = 1003.8)
Total millage so far: 981.34 (add 10 perhaps)
Today's top speed: 00.00 - garmin cock up (Strava says - 46.5mph)
Punctures: 00

Music played:
kaiser chiefs

Blog for the day:
Phew! Lucky to have such a gorgeous and newly refurbished hotel with a pool. Heaven and bliss! So today we took on the giant of Provence, and Tour de France mainstay Mont Ventoux. I got to say I was pretty concerned about doing this today, I didn't think I had the bike gears nor the fitness/strength to go up. I did. Although I did know that this would prob be my best chance of going up I would get, as it was, the climb was tough but doable. I took a couple of water breaks when Phil turned up, thank god we had him as I had drunk two bottles in a hour. I had got up at 5 and left at 6 am. Only one guy was ahead of me leaving shortly before me, I took him easily even though I was trying to take it easy and just spin up. We leap frogged as I stopped for Phil. At the end with the photographer, I jumped ahead as I thought we would race a little. He couldn't, so I slowed right down to a crawl to try and get he last few feet together. Either he wasn't interested or had. Itching left, so I just went off.

The road surface was good and there were a few fly's about which were a pain. I think we had a tail wind at times as I'm sure a leaf blew past me lol. The garmin played up loads saying my speed was either 0 or 120mph! Then the grade % gave up as did me raft rate monitor. Although not important, I wanted to go back later and see how I did. I knew I was well within my limit as I usually push and max at 175bpm and I was happily going along at 140.

Not sure what else to write, loads I could such as how lucky we were with the weather and only 1 guy passed me on the way up towards the end. So I was one of the first up that day on that route. Woop woop. It felt amazing to be at the top and see the big tower, a real iconic thing in the world of cycling. Mixed emotions on the way up, tears and laughter and brut strength. Although I didn't need the "shut up legs" or any other technique to get up, one gel maybe lol

While I waited an hour or so for the others, the place really filled up with other cyclists and runners. Going down the mountain was amazing, so amazing in fact that it is hard to describe. The speed and exhilaration if fantastic. Part of it is pure joy and ecstasy of completing it, another part is watching the hundreds coming up the mountain, their faces suffering as I smile and laugh my way down. Some great corners and a few scary ones too. Most of the cars coming up the mountain gave me room as I shot down. I had to let a few cyclists know that I was coming down fast as they weaved across my path. Known that le tour has been up and down this mountain made it a even better ride and then when I started to see all the writing on the road from this years, it gave me a even bigger buzz. In short, it was a effing amazing descent.

A few small towns came up then the tough Col de Murs. Very hard because we were now in the midday sun, the physical energy we had used earlier and the terrible road surface. i did feel strong at times as if my climbing demons had been left behind. Made it up and had another amazing downhill to Murs. Shame the supermarket was shut plus the restaurant I wanted no longer did evening meals. The road down was terrible, I thought my bike was going to come apart in my hands.

The lavender I was hoping to see before rousillon has just been cut, so I was disappointed the others had not seen the gorgeous colours and smelt the smell. Tough sharpe and short climb in to town and in to a fantastic new hotel with a pool. What more could one ask for!

Pa the tour went pretty close to here too, the next village along. Tired now, so much to write but need sleep. 2 days to go before the coast .