Iseran and Tignes
Today, I had another car transfer to the start of the stage.
This was mainly due to the length of the Iseran and the fact that I decided to include Tignes in this stage.
My “original plan” was to include (finish in) Tignes in a partial copy of the real Tour de France’s stage 7.
But I figured that I might as well include Tignes today and finish in Bourg-Saint-Maurice instead…
So, I got on my bike a few kms outside of Sollières for a warm up towards Val Cenis.
There’s the possibility to do your warming up all the way from Modane, but I forfeited that 😎
The CyclingCols profile doesn’t even start before Lanslebourg anyway.
The first short climb and then – after Lanslebourg – the Madeleine was enough of a warming up for me.
No, not that Madeleine and it doesn’t even have a listing on CyclingCols, but there’s a marker, so…
I estimate it’s just under 4 kms long and has some 340 m of elevation (8.5%) and you do descend a bit after the marker.
The 10 kms (Bessans) valley traversing towards Bonneval-sur-Arc, doesn’t offer any challenge, other than the wind if you get a head wind.
Luckily, I didn’t and got a tail wind, so given that I’ve had a head wind twice going the other way, I take it the wind usually blow from the east.
Obviously, it was a tame wind, whereas my rides in the opposite direction were against a fierce wind, much like I experienced last Monday during stage 3.
Anyway, the final 12 kms from Bonneval, averaging 8.1%, were tough but with a lot of stunning, overwhelming, views to take in.
At the summit, we had a short break and I did score another jersey souvenir 😂
As there was an offer on a jersey and a (long sleeved) wind-stopper, I couldn’t resist that, even if the jersey has an unusual yellow color.
The descend towards Val d’Isere was as fast as it was beautiful and I even stopped to take a picture.
The part to the Tignes “exit” with the tunnels was annoying, as these are quite dark and (very) wet.
When I climbed the Iseran from Bourg-Saint-Maurice during my Tour of 2014, there was a road construction and I actually got around most of these.
Tignes itself was actually a bit disappointing from this end.
There was “only” some 4 kms left to Val Claret, whereas stage 7 (not this stage 7) started further down and went over the D87B.
Which is why I wanted to include that in my original stage copy 😎
Anyway, after finding that it was busy in the area, but we couldn’t easily find anything suitable for a (coffee) break, I went back to the split, took the alternative (D87B) down to where it joins the main route (D902) and further on to Bourg-Saint-Maurice.
Obviously, I now did face a head wind in the lower, flatter part of the descend…
There’s even a short uphill section between Longefoy and Séez and while that is hardly noteworthy, I all but cracked on that.
In Bourg-Saint-Maurice, I put the bike in the car and we drove home taking the route passing Albertville
Total for today: almost 101 kms and just over 2,000 m of elevation.
I managed to stop and finish instead of continue my recording during our Iseran summit break and started another 🤦♂️