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Days 4 and 5: Squashed Lizards and Breaking the Hour

Yesterday was going to be an easier day, but ended up being pretty hard on all fronts. The 6am swim set the scene for the day. I spent about 30 mins trying to get my damn wetsuit on and the more i tried the more pi55ed off i got. I gave up in the end and just went in without. Slow but rather refreshing. Took the watch off too, no need to look at times. Just swim the lake and back. Then the bike was going to be a little loosener up the Col du Cherel. A new climb ive never done, but steep, 10 miles long and good views apparently. The climb was rather pleasant. Some light drizzle, traffic free roads and 25 bridges over a flowing stream. PICT0001 The rain brought out loads of small lizards on the road, who are 10 x thicker than the average UK rabbit. They lie in the road, then as you swerve to avoid them, they run straight under your wheel. 4 of the poor things ended up as debris on my nice red brakes. However, after 5 miles the road turned to mush and there seemed to be some forestation going on, so had to call it a day...but arrival back in Doussard at the 1st CP of the Tour TT meant it was worth a blast round the East side of the lake to follow the course to Talloires and the Col De Bluffy. Good fun as there were loads of roadies out and lots of people to chase, pull and drop. Same story with what was going to be an easy run but a long climb took a tad longer than expected and had to belt it down the road. The next morning was always going to be sore. Day 5: A very hot day so decided against a century ride but instead back up the Semnoz for a TT attempt in the big ring. The north side is much harder than Saturday's East side, so the big ring challenge was not a done deal. Having done this climb 4 times over the year (twice in May) i have a few stats and a record of 1.02. Without gloves on the hands became nicely lubed up on the hoods and grip was an issue. As the climb kicks up through 10-11%, my Garmin gave me 3 miles to the top and 18 mins to break the hour. Needing to average 10mph and currently on 9.8 the last 15 mins were hell. Loads of roadies out today climbing in their compacts but my mission was to hit the top on 59.59. Probably the hardest i have worked uphill since getting dropped my Wayne Randall at Boggle Hole, but made it on 59.54 Tired, but happy. No running today but maybe another 2-3k swim as the water looks pretty good.

11 August 2009


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