Tour de France 2021 – Recap

As promised, I will conclude the reporting on my Tour de France 2021 with a recap.

I cycled 14 out of 15 available days and have my own stupidity to blame for having a “rest day”.

While I guess this Tour de France once again showed I’m (still) capable of pushing myself through – and over – my limits, there’s no denying that I will have to take it down a notch.

How much will also depend on my capability to keep enduring the back pain on every climb.

Sure, taking in the mostly overwhelming landscapes, the feeling of tininess when looking around and the stunning views are great “distractors”.

But I keep increasing the number of short breaks to ease the pain, which eventually do not help very much any more either.

On the upside, these enable me to take in more of the views and make pictures too ūüėā

Anyway, lets get to the recap…

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Tour de France 2021 – Stage 11

Marmotte or Bust

Yes, I did use that phrase before. Thank you for so closely following / reading my blog ūüėā

However, at the time I spoke about my plans to do two of them, Sestriere (La Marmotta) and the classic Marmotte Granfondo Alpes during that Tour de France of 2017.

Both were a bust, whereas I didn’t even start the classic, due to the (general) weather conditions and had a flat with no spare tube(s) during the La Marmotta.

This year, being located at an even better spot to start it, I finally did ride Marmotte Granfondo Alpes, but with a twist…

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Marmotte or Bust

Podium of the 2017 TDFNow that the UCI Tour de France of 2017 is over, it’s just a short countdown to this year’s Vuelta.

I’m a bigger fan of that race – and an even bigger fan of the Giro – than of the Tour, but I have to admit that this year’s Tour was not as boring as I expected.

Sure, at the end of it, we still saw the predicted winner, although I’m sure Froomey will be disappointed with his not taking any stage win(s) this year.

But I doubt Uran was on many people’s favorites list and Bardet was maybe less of a surprise, but he had to deliver a great fight until the end to cling on to 3rd.

And Froome was faced with the same problem Wiggins encountered (with him) in 2012: Landa seemed to be the better rider on several occasions.

Other than disputed decisions like sending Sagan home or not awarding the tirelessly attacking de Gendt the ‘Super Combative’, we saw Richie Porte crash out of the race.

As did Kittel while in the green jersey and I would have loved to see the battle between him and Matthews be decided on the bike instead of like this.

Sadly, neither Contador nor Quintana were able to make a dent – not for lack of trying, at least on Contador’s part.

But the wins by guys like Barguil, Calmejane, Groenewegen, Roglic and Boasson Hagen made up for that.

Anyway, the Tour’s done and the Vuelta will come to a conclusion by the time I start my own ‘Tour de France’ – it’s time I reveal more of my stupid plans for that event…

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Wrapping up the Marmotte

Look Marmotte HochkonigFrom June 16 to 23, we spent a week near the German – Austrian border, where I cycled a bit in the Berchtesgadener and Salzburger mountains.

While the trip was originally intended as a revisit to the Berchtesgaden area, I came across the Look Marmotte Hochkönig.

This Gran Fondo was starting in M√ľhlbach am Hochk√∂nig, basically around the corner from there.

And when I studied the route for that event, I realized that we would pass through Bruck an der Grossglocknerstrasse at the base of the climb up the Hochalpenstrasse by that name.

A climb I had done in 2009 and which I’d always wanted to revisit as well – I could tell I was in for a busy week.

But first, here’s my report on the Marmotte…

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Look, a Marmotte

Look Marmotte HochkonigTapering has begun for the Look Marmotte Hochk√∂nig – this Saturday, the gold rush will start and end in M√ľhlbach am Hochk√∂nig.

Well, officially it will end at the Arthurhaus, at the end of a steep climb out of the village, also known as the Mandlwandstrasse.

As is the case with the ‘original’ Marmotte in the French Alps, a good deal of the elevation gain for the ride is at the beginning and at the end of the ride.

Right from the start, it’s up the Dientner Sattel, which means there is no ‘easy warming up’ into this ride. The Dientner Sattel is just over 6 kilometers of climbing out of Muhlbach, with some 500 meters of elevation difference.

However, the grades hardly get below 10% and frequently touch 15%…

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