La Marmotte 2018 – Part 2

Day 2 – 07-JUL -2018

Before we’d left to go to France we had all discussed in great detail our prep and plans for the lead up to the big day and I had been adamant that I’d go for an easy spin on the Friday (which we did) then I would spend the entirety of Saturday sat/lying down, drinking coffee and doing everything possible to ensure my legs were fresh for Sunday.

I lied.

I lied to myself.

I lied to my wife.

I lied to everyone with how adamant I was about not riding. Buuuuuuut, in my defense it was lush out, and I was fidgeting from anticipation. What damage can a short ride do?

(Game face)

We were on top of Alpe d’Huez so a logical step was a spin over to the summit of the Col de Sarenne. Some people wanted to push, some wanted to sit up. I sat in the 32 (a subject of much ridicule amongst my Welsh cohorts)  and didn’t pedal unless it was absolutely required of me.

Even then I opted to stop about 3 km from the summit and relax and was gladly joined by Andy and Dave whilst Phil and Karl pushed on to the summit.

In hindsight, this ride worked in my favour as the rough terrain from Alpe d’Huez over to the Col de Sarenne highlighted a rattle in my headset. Not ideal the day before the event!


With much haste we returned to Alpe d’Huez and after a quick coffee I had to be one of those people seeking out last minute urgent mechanical assistance.

FORTUNATELY, I found it in the form of Ollie from Cycle Huez. There were already people queued up in this amazing store waiting for the attention of Ollie and his mechanic. Not ten minutes after getting my bike on the workstand was it back down and fixed. If you are ever up on top of Alpe d’Huez, make sure you stop in there as they sell some really nice kit and have pretty much any spare part/piece of knowledge you could possibly need.

Headset fixed, it was back to the apartment for the last supper, another coffee, gear prep for the next day and some nervous sleep.

The apartment went quiet and the lights went out at about 9:45. I’m not sure anyone was sleeping.

I wasn’t.

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