RIDE at the Tour: Day Two
The second day of the Ronan Pensec Tour was the first where the group got to ride the race route in the same direction and on the same day as the peloton.
Riders were given the option of completing both the 1297m Col de Romme and the 1618m Col de la Colombière and watching the race from somewhere on those climbs, or riding one of the climbs and heading back to the bus before the race route was closed.
After a short ride to the bottom of the Col de la Colombière we decided there would only be time for the day’s final climb. It starts with a series of switchbacks that climb steadily through the forest below the tree line. About halfway up the climb you hit the snow line and the view opens out to reveal the top of the col. The crowd was building from very early in the morning.
Everyone was happy to cheer any cyclist that passed before them. Some riders were taking it seriously, while others were simply cruising to a good vantage point and would never see the top.
The top of the climb was crowded and cold. There was just enough time for a quick picture of Toby reaching the peak before the wind became too much.
We headed back down the way we came, away from the finish in Le Grand-Bornand, to meet the bus and get warm. From there it was only a short walk to the start of the Col de Romme where we saw the peloton hit the second-to-last climb of the day. Sastre attacked at the base but couldn’t hold on for very long. Evans rolled through a long way down and would lose a massive chunk of time by the end of the day.
The Italian champion led a group just ahead of the autobus onto the climb. The final riders were all preparing themselves for the pain that awaited them. A long bus ride back to Albertville was all that awaited us.