Tour de France 2014 – Stage 4

Madeleine and Glandon

As expected, despite the fatigue, the ride up the Madeleine from La Léchère was easier than the one from La Chambre on Monday.

The altitude gain is about the same, but you have some 5 kilometers more to conquer that.

Too bad the weather was not really cooperating – it would frequently drizzle just enough to soak all clothes, but the temperature was not unpleasant…

This time, both restaurants at the summit were open and I had a good omelette at ‘Les Deux Mazots’.

Near the summit of the Madeleine

After a tricky descend down to la Chambre, I crossed the valley to Saint-Étienne-de-Cuines for the Glandon

This climb was not so much fun, although the worse part is in the final.

What the fuck is wrong with road builders / designers, that every time you get up a mountain, the last part is like “Oh shit, we’re running out of mountain” and they kick you in the nuts with stretches well over 10% for the remainder of the climb?

Anyway, as there’s nothing much at the summit and I didn’t feel like having another break two hundred meters down at the Chalet, I descended towards Vaujany almost immediately.

This downhill Croix de Fer was actually quite difficult after the first straight kilometers as it had started to rain heavily. I considered putting the bike in the car, but I didn’t – the road was all but deserted for the most part anyway…

I summoned all my remaining minions for the – unforeseen – climb to the hotel where we would stay the night (Chez Passoud, just off the main road to Vaujany) and just after 6pm we arrived there.

Trip: 95.3 km / 3,479 m elevation gain.

Final kilometers of the Glandon - hairpin heaven my ass