Sunday, July 15, 2007
Day 8 ; Stage 7 Mountains
I had to do saturdays TDF stage on sunday as saturday for me was just slammed with work and travel. This makes my whole tour much tougher as all the initial mountain stages for me have no rest days between them - ouch!!
Today was really interesting and very tough mentally. To start with it was very hot and my first day back at altitude after 4 days at sea level. After 15 mins of riding I was ready to quit - I pulled over and turned around heading back for home. It was in 90's and I was just not in to it. Then I thought, OK I 'll just ride an easy hour - luckily a breeze picked up and I rode out to the town of Golden (15 miles away from home) and realised that my legs were feeling pretty good. So the question was "do the lookout mountain climb and stay in the Tour or just ride home?" 102 degrees now BUT I was already there so I figured I'd go for it.
Stopped and soaked my head with cold water then hit the climb - rode a PR in 27.30 averaging 237 watts for the 4.5 miles climb. really really happy with this one - it's a pretty serious climb from 6000' in Golden up to Buffalo Bills Grave at around 9000'. No one passed me and I passed plenty of people - heartrate was through the roof with the heat - hit 189 bpm at one point!! In comparison to the TDF obviously the pace is slower but the type of climb is the same and to be honest I think that climbing to 9000' in 102 degrees is harder than to 6000' in 85 degrees which is what the TDF stage was.
From this photo you can see the town of Golden down below and some of the switchback roads up to the summit.
On the ride home I hooked up with one rider who tried to drop me but I stuck with him then led him back in town and made him hurt for being a jerk. I averaged 31 mph (slight downhill) for 5 mins up in the 270 watt range until the traffic lights saved him!
FYI...... a couple of friends and I are toying with the stupid idea of actually doing the full, complete TDF in 2009!! stay tuned for that one.