Cycling the Alps

Coming from a basically pancake-flat country – he actually lives below sea level – it’s amazing how much Cyclopaat likes cycling the Alps. Even on a good day, he’s an average climber at best, but he claims it’s all about the views.

More often than not he barely makes it up a (famous) mountain pass, returning afterwards to his apartment half past dead, only to prepare himself to take yet another beating the next day.

It’s anybody’s guess what might be going on in that head of his, but he seems to be determined to ‘conquer’ every single climb he can find in the Alps. Or maybe that should read ‘be conquered by’.

This destructive desire – he calls it ‘grinta’ – doesn’t allow for basic things like a ‘rest day’ once in a while. “I’LL REST WHEN I’M DEAD!” is his standard answer to pleas to DO have a rest day every now and then…

Despite his efforts, during every cycling the Alps trip he discovers many more climbs for him to die on, so the list of links on this page to the reports of his insane expeditions will most likely continue to grow.

Giro d’Italia

Whenever the Treasury Secretary sanctions a trip into the high mountains, for another cycling the Alps adventure, Cyclopaat is first looking at his favorite destination: Italy and in particular the Dolomites.

Other than the trip to Prato in 2008, which was ‘just’ for the Stelvio, he does not hesitate to shamelessly call them his own ‘Giro d’Italia’.

More on his Giro’s here.

Tour de France

And while his heart may be in the Dolomites, he will never turn down an opportunity of cycling the Alps and to destroy his ass in some other part of the them, like France.

And to be honest, staying in an area around Barcelonnette, Bourg-Saint-Maurice or Briançon, is not a punishment…

Obviously, as with the Giro, he has no problem dubbing those cycling adventures in France as his version of the ‘Tour de France’.

Read all about it here.

The very tough part of Tre Cime di LavaredoThe very tough part of Tre Cime di Lavaredo
Tour de France 2014 - stage 4 on the GlandonTour de France 2014 - stage 4 on the Glandon
Gotthard TremolaGotthard Tremola
Tour de France 2014 - Stage 11: IzoardTour de France 2014 - Stage 11: Izoard
Tour de France 2014 - Stage 10: FaunieraTour de France 2014 - Stage 10: Fauniera
Tour de France 2015 - Stage 5 passing lac de Grand MaisonTour de France 2015 - Stage 5 passing lac de Grand Maison
Start of the WürzjochStart of the Würzjoch
Grimsel HospitzGrimsel Hospitz
Giro d'Italia 2015 - Stelvio final from BormioGiro d'Italia 2015 - Stelvio final from Bormio
Tour de Frabce 2014 - Stage 2: on the Cormet de RoselendTour de Frabce 2014 - Stage 2: on the Cormet de Roselend
Tour de France 2014 - stage 4 on the MadeleineTour de France 2014 - stage 4 on the Madeleine
Tour de France 2015 - Stage 5 near the top of the GalibierTour de France 2015 - Stage 5 near the top of the Galibier
Gavia from Ponte di LegnoGavia from Ponte di Legno

Alpe d’HuZes

As preparation for Team AD6 Tweets Alpe d’HuZes 2012, two training camps were planned.

Sadly, a month before the first trip, Cyclopaat crashed badly while training in his own neck of the woods and ended up in the hospital. The aftermath of that spoiled a lot of the fun during the training weeks and also during the Alpe d’HuZes event (week) itself…

He and Paula first spent a week in the Bavarian Alps (Berchtesgaden), where despite the fact he couldn’t cycle up the much anticipated Kehlsteinstrasse, he found enough challenges to seriously test himself got more than he could handle…

A month later, the near-complete team spent a week in France (Les Ménuires, close to Val Thorens), where the Croix de Fer, La Plagne, Les Arcs and a first climb up Alpe d’Huez were on the menu.

During this trip he seriously started to doubt his ability to accomplish the AD6 mission…

Full details on the event and the preparations here.

The Beginning

His cycling the Alps adventures began in 2008, when Cyclopaat had his first real high mountains trip: through Germany (Tegernsee) and Austria (Feldkirchen) Paula and he arrived in Prato for the epic climb of the Stelvio from that end.

Obviously the absolute highlight of that trip, but the Gerlitzen and the Nockalmstrasse were fine treats too…

The name of the latter may ring a bell, but for the Gerlitzen your reaction is probably “The what?!”. Well, find it and if you ever try it, you will never forget it. It wasn’t until he prepared himself for his Giro d’Italia of 2011 that he figured out it was similar to the Mortirolo and even the Zoncolan. At 12 kilometers and an average of 10,2% it’s remarkable that it doesn’t have much of a reputation…

Report of that trip here.

The year after that, he continued cycling the Alps by getting up the full length – and forks – of the Grossglockner from Bruck. In (mostly) bad weather and with no views at the summits, still an experience well worth the effort.

Report of that expedition here.

* With friends like that, who needs enemies?

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