King of the Mountains

Day 2

Peaky Climbers Epic 7 Day Challenge

10th September 2017

Day 2 started with 6:30am alarm calls sounding across the hotel and outside the sound of heavy rain lashing down. After a positive day 1 the Peaky Climbers were straight on it, packing vans up with kit as it was hotel base change over day.
After a hearty breakfast the boys set off towards the Infamous Col de Tourmalet (2115m). This Col features frequently on the Tour de France and recognised as super challenging the world over. 

As the team cycled through one of the small villages it seemed appropriate to take a team photo below a local shop sign that was flashing the word PAIN.

It was a chilly day, all the guys were well wrapped up against the elements and looking fine in their new kit.

The long 19km ascent started well, all riders together and in great spirits and looking forward to the average 7.4% gradient. There were early warning signs re the weather looking to change as the guys looked skywards and spotted snow on the peaks. But for now, it was all about getting into a rhythm and attacking the climb.

JB and Macca were climbing buddies for the day, out ahead they could hear a French farmer calling and whistling at his dogs.

As video footage was being taken of Ben, Allen, Simon and Graham elegantly climbing all of a sudden the sound of bells could be heard.

Much to our amazement we were stopped dead in our tracks as a flock of 100 sheep came around the corner and blocked the road. As the Peaky Climbers paused to take in the full impact of this, the sheep just kept on walking by each rider…a beautiful site.

A third of the way up whilst passing through a ski resort our fantastic support team from Le Domestique, Peter and Jack, warned us of the worsening snowy conditions at the summit. undeterred by this the Peaky Climbers pushed on past ski lifts and goat herds on the road.

The temperature was fast plummeting as the freezing rain turned into snow. A crazily driven snow plough highlighted the impact of the fast changing weather conditions which showed a 2*C peak.

The mountain reached higher and higher, steeper and steep as the team started to reach the summit in style as the first cyclists on the day to reach the top and the first to arrive in snow this winter. As drivers passed us on the way up shouts of ‘Crazy’ could be heard echoing through the valley. All the team made it to the top in fine form, with emotions running high a few tears were shead.

After taking photos at the top with the famous Le jeant du Tourmalet statue the Peaky Climbers took on a freezing descent down towards foot of the Col d’Aspin, the second challenging climb of the day, where they met up with Paul Mead oringally from Wantage, who’s fluent French was a great improvement on Maccas Del Boy impression, for brunch.
Wet conditions continued as the flavour of the day all the way up the Col d’Aspin as the boys cycled in great unison beating out a great rhythm, but wonderfully when the Peaky Climbers reached the summit remarkably they were met with bright rays of Sunshine.
With time always being front of mind the boys decided to ditch a lunch stop for a second baguette option as they ploughed on towards the Col de Peyresoude. The final 10K climb of the day started fairly friendly at an average 6% gradient before cruelly finishing with a challenging 4km of 9.5%. True to form all the Peaky Climbers smashed it and finished in superb style.
It was then once again on to a new hotel for the night. The daily routine of trying to get dry, clean and refreshed and prepared for the next day.
A few of the guys had a quick dip in the pool, JB was having his customary daily fight with the wi-fi and hinge and bracket were in the bar. Perfect!
Two days down, 5 to go. 

Tomorrow…Day 3…What will the Weather Bring?

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Peaky Climbers Team is raising funds for two amazing charities: BRITISH LUNG FOUNDATION and CARING CANCER TRUST

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