Stage 4 – Chambery to Gap
Damn it is expensive to live in France! I’m writing this from the back of our campervan and it seems like every 30 miles we have to pay a $15 toll – and we aren’t even going across any bridges. Combine that with the high tax rate and the high ‘fashion tax’ – they actually have to dress nicely and not wear flip flops and board shorts all day like us ugly Americans – and things get pretty damn expensive in France. This is probably the Tea Party’s version of hell. / rant J
This stage had some hills on it but the last one was 30k from the finish, which is where I plotted my attack. I went about 15 k down the road and then did the climb and then descended the back side and climbed up. Here is a few photo of the descent.
It is some of the most technical descending I have seen. That is what you don’t realize about cycling. Not only do the y have to go full gas all day, cycling so hard they are cross eyed, but then they have to focus all of their attention on descending so they don’t lose precious seconds or crash and risk losing much more than time.
Once again it was a beautiful Alpine stage. The views were amazing and I can’t get over how steep the faces of the mountains are. As I was staring up at one of them I saw the landscape start to shift a bit at the top of one of the steeper faces. I realized it was a heard of sheep grazing and what looked like a 60 degree angle. Those sheep must have super glue on their feet.
There was a break of a few riders that I jumped in on. Then the main peloton came flying by and even though it was a pretty steep climb, they were all together going gutter to gutter. I made a judgement call not to run ahead of them. I would have definitely taken a few of them out. I’m all about getting publicity, but I don’t want an international incident on my hands!