Over half way and there are only mountains – 23 June

Fourth ride – Mountain after mountain after mountain 23.6.14

Overall ride and climb – 120 km and 2,543m.

The fourth ride, and the start of this day means the team is over half way, at the end of this day there are two more rides until they reach the Mediterranean.

Col de Sarenne summit sits at 1,999m, and is the first climb of the day.  This ride is up and over the summit on a brand new incredibly steep and narrow road, with dangerously tight hairpins; and will debut in this year’s 2014 Tour de France.

Pat and Garry standing at the Col de Sarenne refuge point.  This mountain pass is approximately 9km east of Alpe d’Huez
Pat and Garry standing at the Col de Sarenne refuge point. This mountain pass is approximately 9km east of Alpe d’Huez

From here it is back down the valley where they have a long steady climb up to Col du Lautaret, with an elevation of 2,058m, where they descend into Briancon, Frances Highest City.  Here they rest and refuel before heading up the big climb of the day, the majestic iconic climb, Col d’Izoard.

Route Nationale 91, Col du Lautaret
Route Nationale 91, Col du Lautaret
Garry Buys at yellow bike sign Col du Lautaret
Garry Buys at yellow bike sign Col du Lautaret
One of the team at a road sign Col du Lautaret
One of the team at a road sign Col du Lautaret

The Col d’Izoard, its highest point at 2,360m, where so many Tour de France were won and lost.

Memorial at the top of Col d’Izoard
Memorial at the top of Col d’Izoard
A personal moment for Garry where he leaves a photo of his brother who recently deceased – Garry first climbed this Col in 2000.
A personal moment for Garry where he leaves a photo of his brother who recently deceased – Garry first climbed this Col in 2000.

After an obligatory photo next to the Coppi-Bobet memorial, near the summit of Col d’Izoard, they descend through the moonscape Casse Desert, and big-ring it down a sweeping gorge to their stop for the night, Guillestre.

Graphic: Col d’Izoard

Graphic: Col d’Izoard

Interesting information

Angelo Fausto COPPI – famous for being an all-round exceptional cyclist – died at age 40, 1960. The circumstances of his death are controversial and were subject to investigation and various conspiracy theory, including – cocaine overdose, poison, or malaria; and

Louis “Louison” BOBET – known by many as the first great French cyclist, and first Tour de France rider to win consecutively three times – 1953 to 1955.

 


 

On this day

30 years ago today France played the All Blacks in the crucial second test match of their tour, 23rd June, 1984, Eden Park, Auckland.

  • Fulltime: New Zealand 31, France 18
  • 211th All Black Test
  • 825th All Black Game
Left to right:Jacques Grattan (France), Allan Hewson(All Black) and Patrick Esteve (France). Second Test, Eden Park, 1984.

Left to right:Jacques Grattan (France), Allan Hewson(All Black) and Patrick Esteve (France). Second Test, Eden Park, 1984.

SECOND TEST 23.6.84
Twas fifty thousand rugby fans
That watched the second test.
And knew full well the French side
Would come out second best.
They came, they saw, but conquer,
They certainly did not.
Cause to-day the All Blacks hit them
With everything they’d got.
The half-time score was sixteen – six
To New Zealand, but of course
Cause the French, as good as they may be
Could not match the All Black Force.
The Emperor of Eden Park,
Known as Hewson to us all,
Put those penalties between the sticks
Each time he lined the ball.
While Lescaboura’s kicking skills
Once more were not the best,
Missing those vital penalties,
That could have won the test.
Three tries apiece, at full time
‘Thirty-one points, Eighteen
So the All Blacks won the series,
Against the French fifteen.

Author: Tula Regos, Palmerston North, New Zealand

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