It’s not snowed here for a while, but as there was so much (90 cm) and we’re up at 720 metres above sea level, there’s still a decent amount of snow & ice around on the more shaded trails. Which means that riding my recently acquired mountain bike is a bit of a risky proposition right now. Continue reading
With about 25 cm of snow on the ground here in Bourg D’Oisans, my outdoor cycling options are pretty much nil (that is until I get a pair of studded tyres for my mountain bike!). In the meantime, the basement beckons….. Continue reading
I guess that I always used to look at mountain biking as not for ‘serious’ cyclists – just for people who like to muck about on a bike. Having now been out for a couple of rides on my first ever mountain bike – bought second hand from the local bike hire shop – I can see that ‘just mucking about’ is actually a lot of fun (I guess that’s not too surprising if I’d really thought about it). Perhaps more surprisingly (well for me anyway) is that it’s also quite hard work! Continue reading
So the whole USADA Lance Armstrong exposure thing is a pretty big deal right now, not only in cycling, but also in the global media. The USADA have done an amazing thing for cycling, and it’s great to see that others, and not just those who have been caught are adding their voice too. Jonathan Vaughters, Paul Kimmage, Bike Pure, David Millar, the @UCI_Overlord (Not Pat McQuaid), and Michael Ashenden for example have all been fighting their own battles in parallel to the USADA, and helping the cause of clean cycling. But there are many, many, more within cycling who are keeping quiet, or some who are trotting out some pretty pointless or just incorrect statements about the whole thing. Continue reading
There have been a few rumours floating round about the 2013 Tour de France route – especially related to how Alpe D’Huez will feature in the 100th edition next year. The organisers of the Tour, ASO, release snippets of the route over time (the first three stages have already been confirmed), but as time goes on, more details leak out about what the full route may look like. If you want to see a real in-depth analysis of where all the stages are likely to be, check out the Velowire site – this guy has really spent a lot of time on this; down to finding out whether local hotels are substantially booked in order to back up his stage route claims! (as there are many many people involved in organising the Tour, ASO will book hotel rooms along the route for their staff way in advance).
So, back to the Alpe – the first (and most likely) rumour is that there will be a stage starting in the town of Gap, and making it’s way over to Alpe D’Huez via the Col D’Ornon. After that, it wont finish up the Alpe, but carry on! The riders will head out of the back of Alpe D’Huez and then continue on up the Col de Sarennes. This then comes out further along the valley, where they’ll head back towards Bourg D’Oisans and then climb up Alpe D’Huez again for the finish!
The next rumour, reported by a Belgian newspaper (and less likely in my opinion) is that Alpe D’Huez will host the last stage of the tour, instead of the traditional finale in Paris. While this would create an open race, right to the line, it would make the logistics around the podium presentations and general massive crowd / corporate / press presence difficult. This is because getting a lot of people up to the top of a mountain is not easy (you just have to live here on a Saturday during the ski season to know that!).
Whatever the actual 2013 Tour de France route is (which will be confirmed by ASO on the 24th October), it’s going to be an amazing experience this year – a ‘normal’ Alpe D’Huez stage has an incredible atmosphere; 2013 will be even better than usual I’m sure! Just make sure you get here early…..
This week I decided to ride over the Col de Sarennes – the ‘back’ way up to Alpe D’Huez, as it has been a while since I’ve been over that way, and it’s one of my favourite rides. As I’m not training for any races now, I decided that I’d take it easy, and bring along the camera as there are often some great views to capture up there. I wasn’t disappointed Continue reading
After seeing a few articles pop up on various sites, I’ve decided to give some money to a complete stranger. Well, I don’t know the guy personally, but I’ve read his book, Rough Ride a number of times. The ‘guy’ is Paul Kimmage, and for those of you who don’t know, he’s an ex-pro cyclist who ended his career and then wrote a book in order to expose the level of doping that was (and perhaps still is) prevalent in cycling. Continue reading
Now that my ‘race season’ has finished, I’m scouring Strava for new routes and climbs I can do before the winter approaches and my choice of rides is severely limited. For those of you who haven’t used Strava before, it’s a web based tool where you can track your rides by downloading GPS data and then compare your times over routes and climbs to other people. Continue reading
I’ve lived in Bourg D’Oisans for over a year and a half, and ridden up Alpe D’Huez many times, but I’d never done one of the weekly summer time trials up Alpe D’Huez. I finally got around to it last week, and after getting my race number and timing chip Continue reading