As I briefly mentioned in the previous post, we took a ride up Alpe d’Huez yesterday to see what all the fuss was about. This was the first time I’ve ever climbed this mythical mountain and it didn’t disappoint.
Alpe d’Huez isn’t the most difficult or picturesque climb I’ve done here in France, but the battles that have taken place on this mountain is what gives it’s allure. While riding up it I recall in 2001 where Lance Armstrong faked his vulnerability, gave Ullrich “the look” and rode away from the field. Or in 1997 when Marco Pantani attacked three times and only Ullrich could match him until he cracked and Pantani soloed to win in record time up the Alpe (36m 5s). The magic time for us punters to make is 1hr. I had great legs yesterday and if I wasn’t taking photos I’m pretty sure I would have matched Pantani’s time. We’ll never know now, will we…
Enough talk about me and my rivals. Here are yesterday’s photos of the ride which went up Alpe d’Huez and over to Col du Lautaret.
Note: Photos and writeup of Stage 18 may be slightly delayed. We’ll be on the mountain until late tonight and will have hundreds of photos to sort through. Enjoy the stage!