21st June 2024
Day 14, Arreau to Argelès-Gazost

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Garmin route for today - - Strava route for today

Miles today: 50.96
Total millage so far: 752.91
Today's top speed: 36.8mph
Punctures: 00

Blog for the day:

Great day. The weather has gone back to behaving and the cycling is back on track again. Only 2 days left now, it will be nice to get home and relax lol.

The hotel was really good but the 🐸 had decimated the breakfast bar, so had to ask for more. Lots of cyclists going through the town to do the big climbs today. It was helpful in a way as I was about to leapfrog them all the way up the first climb, Col d'Aspin. It felt pretty easy tbh. Maybe it's the magic beans or it wasn't that hard a climb. Anyway, the weather and views were spot on. The large group from the Loire were having a good time and even included a tandem!! Good on 'em

Got up there ok but the descent was really cold and I had to pull in for a tea and wait for my jackets to arrive as it was still a long way down. The road was new again, and I took it slow, I'm not 20yrs old anymore lol. Leave that to the paid kids in the TdF. More landmarks from the La Grande Boucle and places I've wanted to see for ages. This years race does lots of my mountain stages, but in the other direction. Will be great to see again. Certainly think going this direction is the easier way as it seems much steeper the other way.

Then it was onto the main event, Col du Tourmalet. Yes it was hard and the temperature changes a lot, so needed jackets, didn't need them 😩. Lots of road works and repairs going on the climb. It was great to ride where legends have fought it out year after year. All the little places you see on tv like the open sided tunnels, just great. There was a guy I overtook on the way up just by being that little bit faster, he went past me again when I had to pee. It got really steep into the concrete ski resort. Just after that, all the famous names were printed on the road, wow. The scenery was breathtaking, all around. Some guys from Amsterdam on their e-bikes went past, stopped and went past several times. The guy from earlier seemed to have found a bit more strength or I was slowing down, as he started pulling away! Managed to get close again but cutting the corners. Plus I think the music at the point was spot on, ZZ Top!! He was just ahead on the last corner so I went for it, burnt all my matches and took him, then the corner seemed to go on forever, no no no! Just managed to keep going and beat him over the line lol.

Amazing views, got all the pics I needed. For the last few days, people have been saying the climb was closed, I couldn't find anything on line so though it was just urban legend BS. Then at the top, others were saying the descent was closed, but we could see people going up and down. The guys from the 'Dam thought it was open. Sod it, took the gamble and it was fine.

Fresh warm tarmac again, had to take it steady in places. What a descent though, wow!! Just amazing road. Few idiot French drivers but generally good. Road surface was mostly fine and little wind. Got held up by a cow, had to dodge lots of cow pats. Fast, fun and just the best. Not sure what the Speedo will say, but my driver said he as doing 45mph and couldn't keep up. I think mine is dodgy as had some weird results. Anyway, cold descent. Got partly down and tried some of the local cake, wow, pure butter lol

Then it was just a ride along the cycle path to the hotel. A few idiots and groups who thought they owned the whole path, they blinked first. Nice town we are staying in. I had wanted to do as an extra, the Hautacam. (Col de Tramassel) - 1615m but didn't really have time, and felt like I had done enough. Beer o'clock.

Notes, had a real strong headwind for the final 10miles. Dodgy for my wheels

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Video of music in town 01 Video of music in town 02