Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Cycling the French Alps near Annecy

Profile Du Sumnoz
It has been awhile since posting something here related to cycling as I have moved most of this off to a twitter channel @RedHatCycling. I am riding sporting the Red Hat JBoss cycling kit to continue to promote JBoss all the way up to 1800m!

Now I have a bit of a reason to post more than just my latest ride. I was in the French Alps, near Annecy, France. I got to cycle 4 different climbs around Lake Annecy and one was the highest category and finish to the 2013 Tour de France 20th stage, Du Somnoz!

2km to summit Du Somnoz
The first ride was easy, just a small climb in the valley on the back side of Du Somnoz.

The second was up the front of Du Somnoz with start from Annecy as the Tour de France stage will approach it.

The third ride was on the other side of the lake, up the

Ride 1:
From village of Chaparon - Lac Annecy - Saint-Eustache - La-Chapel-Saint-Maurice - foot of Du Somnoz (back-side) and back. Steep tour up the valley and great views of Lake Annecy from about 900m. Easy start to the week.



Ride 2:
Went for the big Tour de France finish of stage 20 this year. From Chaparon - Lac Annecy - Annecy - Du Somnoz and back. 16km climb as shown in the picture above. Just gets steeper and steeper, eventually you start to hate the marker signs that show every single km what the next km climbing
percentages are going to be, 8-10% most of the way. I averaged 8.2 km/hr going up it, feels like walking would have been faster! Awesome vies though and great feeling to summit this monster from the Tours classification of Highest Category (HC)! ;)



Ride 3:
Went on the other side of the lake to climb the Col Du La Forclaz, again reaching around 900m, awesome views from the other side of the lake and lots of para-gliders.



Ride 4:
Finished the week with a repeat ride from the first week. Up to La-Chapel-Saint-Maurice and enjoyed the views, coffee at the village cafe and then enjoyed the lake front ride back. My heart rate dropped over 10 bpm avg from the beginning of my 2 weeks in the mountains. It really does help to climb these monsters in the Alps! The tracking application failed towards the end of this ride, so it seems to be shorter than the first ride, but it is pretty much the same.



I loved every minute of it and miss it when riding the flats in Holland.