RIDE at the Tour: Day One
The first day of the Ronan Pensec Tour took in the 1980m Cormet de Roselend on the way to the finish of the day’s stage in Bourg-Saint-Maurice.
Before the climb – which will feature in tomorrow’s stage – a gentle valley ride from Albertville to Beaufort at the base of the mountain had everyone warmed up.
A steady 800m climb took us to a beautiful dam where we waited for the first 30 riders to assemble before tackling the second part of the ascent. Once again the Time bikes performed perfectly.
After a breif stop at the dam it was time to meet the final 6km to the 1980m crest.
Our guide (Vincent, right) discussed the finer points of French pronounciation with David from South Africa with two kilometres to go on the Cormet de Roselend.
By the time we arrived in Bourg-Saint-Maurice the travelling circus of the Tour de France was well and truly in action. LCL caps were a wise option under the blistering sun. The eager crowd watched the progress of the day’s breakaway on the big screen.
Amaël Moinard was the last rider of the lead group to cross the line after his attack in the closing stages set Astarloza off for the win. The third Frenchman into the finish – after Sandy Casar (FDJ) and Pierrick Fedrigo (BBO) – was immediately swamped by the media.
Franco Pellizotti (LIQ) confirmed his place at the top of the mountains classification in an escape with Vladimir Karpets (KAT). The Italian still hasn’t got any special paint on his Cannondale SuperSix Hi-Mod…
The team buses assembled in Bourg-Saint-Maurice on the same road as the finish line. The Swiss national champion rolled into town 24 minutes after the winner and headed straight for the Saxo Bank bus.
Tomorrow we will ride the Col de Romme and the Columbiere, waiting at the summit of the day’s final climb to watch the Tour pass. It’s going to be a long, hot day for the peloton.