Mike Simpson

Man, Machine and a Custard Slice

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CCC2013 Stage Seven

Montmeian to Vassieux en Vercors

212km with 5090m of climbing

The most famous rider on this trip is Lothar Leder, the first man to complete an Ironman in under 8 hours. I was chatting with him up the first climb today, the Col de Granier. He has kept the mood fun with his great one liners and his occasional lost in translation comments. There seemed to be a lot of road works and gravel today and we had a long flat (very rare) section to get through which turned into a bit of a team TT and a speedy run into lunch with Lothar, all good fun.

The afternoon was more relaxed, through the spectacular Gorge du Nan whilst on the massive Pas de Pre Coquet. We were spoilt with pastries at the last feed before starting another gem, the Col de la Machine. A long climb but luckily the support cars were dishing out more custard slices on the climb. It was another tough finish to the day with more climbing but the more relaxed approach allowed cafe stops for some great chocate chaud. On the run in to Vassieux-en-Vercors we past a war museum and a large cemetery, this town suffered a massacre here in World War Two. Thankfully we live in happier times, but it's a stark reminder of mankinds grim past.

We reach the hotel after a stage through incredible landscapes, through the Chartreuse into the heart of the Vercors, a real contrast from last weeks regions. There was more alcohol drunk tonight than most nights, as the task of completing seems ever nearer and achievable. A nice friendly hotel albeit with a small shower that couldn't contain me as I fell through onto the sink ripping down and destroying the shower curtain, oops!

Click images to enlarge.