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Overdue Team TBB Tour Day Alps Report « Mary Beth Ellis' Blog

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Overdue Team TBB Tour Day Alps Report

First, if you haven’t read Brandon’s blog from the trip. Do it now! He has a great review of the adventure along with some photos and video – the candy store video is my favorite.
Day 1: The trip started ominously with a cold rainy morning here in Leysin. I struggled up the first climb as everyone started killing it. I was just thinking are they crazy? We have a mountainous 200 miler ride then a rest day followed by a long course triathlon up Alp D’ Huez then a mountainous 200 mile ride home. I guess I put in low gear and tried to get up without sweating. I claimed that I didn’t sweat at the top but I think there were a few drips under my jersey. Then we had nice decent into Chamonix where aforementioned candy store video records my delight at the stop for lunch and lollies. The rolling and climbing continued until Albertville 175K from Leysin. After a rack of ribs and hot bath, I was ready for a good night’s sleep at the Etap.

Day 2: The morning started with my consumption of a pot of coffee at the Etap breakfast buffet. After that I was ready to roll for day 2. The coffee in combination with Doc’s admonition that I not save myself for the race I gave it to myself on the big climb of the day not realizing that I would pay for it later on the climb up to the top of the Alp. I definitely arrived at the top of this climb sweaty and felt okay until we reached the bottom of the climb up to Alp D’ Huez. I slowly made my way up and was at least not too disheartened as a few of the others struggled along with me. The second day ride was only about 140K but made up for lack of distance with the climbs.

Day 3: After a good night’s sleep, we had a swim, run, bike pre-race rest day.

Day4: Race day dawned ominously with cold grey skies that opened up as soon as the race started. It was cold and rainy the entire day but luckily I managed to put on enough clothing so that I wasn’t too cold . The race didn’t go great but I managed to pull off a second place despite frittering away 10 minutes trying to fix my bike wheel during the first 30K. Funnily, the easiest part of the bike ride was the climb up the Alp. It was definitely the highlight for me and the run up on the mountain was so much fun a nice hilly mix of dirt and road. I hope that I get to race next year and give it a better go. Hopefully the weather will cooperate too!

Day 5: After an early morning swim, it was back on the road again. We took the longer flat route to our Albertville stop. After a flat pretty comfortable 160K ride, we arrived at the Etap and rested for the night. I was starting to go from slap happy into a complete zombie.

Day 6: Not even attempting to down an entire pot of coffee could help me today. I struggled from the start and limped into Chamonix. After an influx of calories and candy, I had a resurgence and felt much better for the final two climbs and ride home. I even climbed the hill back up to Leysin though I had the option of taking the train. Stupid I know!

Overall, the trip was an unforgettable experience and the saddle sore that came with it from wearing old worn out bike shorts is a reminder. I definitely think it made me stronger physically and mentally. I’ll be drawing on this reserve for the rest of the season and hopefully in the lava fields of Kona.

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