(Well, the Vars was not that petit as it turned out)
So, as I was advised to avoid riding to Le Lauzet on zee baik, Paula delivered me there by car.
But actually, while seeing it from the car, it didn’t look as bad I was let to believe.
Certainly no worse then any main road in Belgium or Germany and by the look of it, traffic – i.e. car drivers – are mostly attentive when it comes to passing a cyclist.
I decided I could easily cycle this road when needed and I did so the following days…
I first did my “warm up” on the Saint-Jean – just some 400+ meters elevation gain over a distance of around 12 kilometers.
After that, the more serious Pontis awaited – this is only some 5 kilometers long, but with an elevation gain of 500 meters, it has some pretty steep sections…
It offered a few nice ‘see through’ views half way, but the ‘summit’ was not clearly marked and I had to look twice to find the ticket punching machine.
Descending the Pontis was actually more hazardous than climbing it…
We went back to the apartment for our lunch break and in the afternoon I set out for the Col de Vars.
That may not look like much of a challenge: albeit a respectable 14 kilometers long from les Gleizolles, it only has only 800 meters of elevation gain (5.7%).
However, more than half of those (450) are in the final 5 kilometers, meaning the average is 9% for that stretch…
I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to get up the short but steep Montée de Sainte-Anne after the hard final of the Vars, but I was passing it on the way home anyway, so I was going to try.
The Montée is also a ‘petit’ at just 6.5 kilometers, but with an elevation gain of 540 meters, it’s about as easy as the final of the Vars and not a lot easier than the Pontis.
The kilometer at >10% average was not much fun, but I made it.
Anyway, with four more out of the way today, I only had two left to complete the challenge…
Trip: 97 kilometers / 3,095 meters elevation gain.