What a day in the Vosges! Climbing Col des Chevrères was like a boxing match. I wished that I could shift gears lower than 34×28. The long section with gradients vary between 15% and 18% completely ruined my smooth pedaling. All I can do was handing out punches on my pedals. Because what ever was going to happen for sure I didn’t want to continue this climb on foot.
Laurens ten Dam, a former Dutch pro cyclist, according to him this climb is like hell. And just for the record, he has ridden the Tour de France 10 times. I do have to say that my legs where indeed burning like hell.
At the top you will get your confirmation who is in charge here. A sign with ‘meilleur temp’, which stands for best time, makes it clear that this climb belongs to Thibaut Pinot. He set this time of 11.28 at the Tour de France in 2014.
Today we had planned the route making sure we would ride parts of the 6th stage of the Tour de France in 2019. The next climb is where this stage finished in 2019, La Planche des Belles Filles. Unfortunately we could not ride the last unpaved part to the top.
For myself, I saw an 18% at my Wahoo, but with a 5km/h I was more focused on not falling off the bike.
What can I say about the La Planche des Belles Filles, the descent is awesome. Did hit a maximum of 79,8 km/u. It is also great to cycle where Chris Froome encountered the attack of Cadel Evans at the steepest part of the climb. Chris Froome took the stage win and Bardley Wiggins wins his first yellow jersey in the 2012 Tour de France.
The best climb of the day for me was the Ballon de Servance entered via the South. One of my friends said is like riding in a scene of Lord of the Rings. It is a narrow path that winds through the forest brings you to the top at an average gradient of 4.9%. There is little traffic and you will mainly come across fellow cyclists.