Saturday 14 October 2017

Autumn on the Tour de France roads - 1st Stage: Col du Mont Cenis

To pedal and train seriously there is always a need for a goal, and then here I am, I have created one, a beautiful journey between the colors of Autumn in the mountains in the company of friend of mine Lorenzo. It was a while that I did not ride a multi-day trip, the last one year ago to Cornaley with Lorenzo.

I propose to Lorenzo a tour in the French Alps, he would have preferred the sea side. And here we are, at 8pm in Massaua Square in Turin, a symbolic place, where we met for the first time for our first bike ride, talking about the extra wheel trailer and his next trip to Palermo, it was 2012.

Let's start quietly, first on the Certosa bicycle path, talking about the next projects for the Blog. We face the Susa valley, our first objective is Susa from where the long climb up the Colle del Moncenisio, which will take us to France with destination Lanslebourg-Mont-Cenis.

Shortly after departure we stop at Alpignano to greet the bike store "Le Tre Tacche" friends. The ritual photoes with Andrea and resume riding again, we cannot stop for too long the today climb is long.
I take the wheel of Lorenzo, traveling with him is much more secure than traveling alone, regular pace. Unfortunately in Borgone di Susa we find our first surprise that unfortunately will be a constant of the day, the wind. A warm wind from the west, a Foehn wind, we pass from 13 degrees to 19-20 degrees, the pedaling towards Susa becomes tiring, but with more pleasant temperatures.

Arrived at Susa the first pleasant break for a coffee and a drink at the bar in the Piazza della Repubblica square, where the managers there are really nice and always smiling.

Ready, refreshed and happy we start the ascent, the day is sunny and the temperatures continue to rise. The ascent to Giaglione is sheltered by the wind and the temperatures reach almost 27 degrees.

After Giaglione the second surprise of the day, again the wind, this time a very strong and frozen wind from the north.

We occasionally take some stops to take pictures, almost arriving at Bar Cenisio we decide that it's time to eat and we look for a sunny place sheltered by wind.

We leave again after the break, anyway we stop right away in a bar to take another coffee and chat with a German tourist who is on vacation in this area to ride the Susa valley dirt roads by enduro bike, and we ask him to take a photo of us.

We continue our ascent with temperatures that are getting stiff and despite the uphill we stop to cover ourself, the  wind from the north is veru cold.

We finally come across the point we call the "starway", from the photos you can easily understand why this name.

Luckily, this stretch of road is sheltered by the wind, but we are aware that just at the top the wind will not give us more rest.

And it is so unfortunately, past the wind-sheltered section we are exposed. In the south direction there is almost a push, but just the bends turn north it is a calvary.

Unfortunately once arrived the lake level the third nasty surprise for me, the cramps. I'm forced to stop and lose visual contact with Lorenzo.

Despite the sunny weather the temperatures are getting more and more glacial, the temperature drops to 6 degrees and the wind gets strong on the face. Too bad, the scenery is gorgeous, anyway we cannot take more photos, we are also too worried about dressing enough to face the descent. 

We arrive at Lanslebourg-Mont-Cenis in a moment, the descent is fast and little technical, because of the conditions due to the cold hands were even struggling to brake. We arrive at the hotel the owner is kind and helpful at every request.
Unfortunately the hote restaurant is closed, they can not serve dinner, but the owner accompanies us by car to another hotel where we dine with entrecote salad and french fries ... there is only lack of pasta ... but in France you know ... no way to eat pasta!

by Lorenzo Spanò

As usual, Cube is always kind with me, I think this is my hardest trip, back from the sea without workout, after a month without a bike, a few kilograms more too. Cubo asks me to do this tour. It was almost five years that we waited for this moment, and when did it happen to me? It happens to me when I'm less prepared, but how to say no, he taces care of me and me too, anyway today several times between pains, fatigue, cold and cramps, I told myself that I'm stupid.

I think I've never been so fatigued by the bikes, but now that I am here to write I feel satisfied and at the same time concerned about tomorrow's stage, we expect 2 mountain passes and 2400 meters in altitude, thinking about shiping the 22 Kg and going just with the bike.
The night and a little rest will bring a bit of confidence. Tomorrow night if we can be shiny and alive we'll tell you.

The Video

complete Photo Album
The Route

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