KING OF THE MOUNTAINS CHALLENGE 2017

KING of the MOUNTAINS

Day 5

Peaky Climbers Epic 7 Day Challenge

13th September 2017

The now familiar 6.30am alarm call arrived sooner than we wanted and it wasn’t long before the groans could be heard but only turned out to be Macca’s realisation that he wouldn’t be spending his 50th Birthday lazing by a pool with family and a bottle of wine.

Breakfast was good with general congratulations for the birthday boy, cards, banner & balloons and also our host had baked a chocolate tart to mark the occasion.

With tyres checked and pressures adjusted we set off on the downhill start towards Flassan and with the early morning sun on our backs the mood was very cheerful although the legs were still feeling the effects of yesterday’s exertions.

It wasn’t long before we commenced our first climb of the day up to the Col de Notre Dame Abeilles a 13km climb of steady gradient between 4% & 8%, it quickly became apparent that Simon was struggling to keep up the pace feeling the effects of his Podium sprint finish the day prior, luckily Safety officer Allen was on hand to pace him to the top.    

A quick descent took us into Sault which was bustling with a morning market and the unusual sight of open shops, in the background the smell of the local Lavender filled the air.

From here we proceeded to the second climb the Col de la Homme mort which was similar to the previous climb but slightly shorter, from here we descended about 20km to a glorified road side café for lunch.   

With bellies filled with the exception of our 2 fussy eaters it was a further descent down through the beautiful Gorge Meouge which took us to the foot of the next 2 climbs the Col d’Espreaux and the Col du Festre both of which were about 11km with an average gradient of 6% rising in places to 10%. 

By now the heat had risen to 98 degrees so a steady pace was agreed and with many of the Peakys suffering with undercarriage problems and Macca with a dodgy knee we split into 2 groups making use of a couple village troughs to cool heads and fill bottles.   

A steady descent off the final climbs took us down to a reservoir below our destination and then the final sting in the tail a 3km climb at 7% in the fading light.   

We arrived at the hotel just after 8.15pm, quickly showered and then headed off to dinner to celebrate Macca’s Birthday. Today we all agreed that it had been the longest & hardest day to date!!!

But all 8 envelopes still sealed in back pockets along with the Masie & Mrs Mc photo’s we all look forward to the penultimate day.    

Tomorrow…3 Mountains…one being 31km long!

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