18 August 2011

Epic Camp France 2011 Day 3 - Embrun - Briancon

Epic Camp France Day 3 - Embrun - Briancon
Tuesday August 16

Started out with a beautiful run through the forest at 5,000ft from our lodge but my right calf got strained very early and I had to U-turn and walk back.
Hard to put into words how awful it feels to give up hope of camp completion points and not be able to run! Really seems like I'm going to go out of this last Epic Camp on a sour note.
The rest of the day was spent trying to focus on the wonderful riding here and reminding myself of the enjoyment I get from riding and the company of other like-minded people.
We had a doozy of a climb over the Cold De Vars enroute to the main climb of the day - the Cold I'Zoard. By the time we hit the Vars it was already over 30C and I was melting.  I had to watch the entire front group ride up the road and just try and survive.
Lunch at the top of the Vars was spectacular!  I felt 100% better after lunch and a ripping descent down the Vars.
  The I'Zoard was as tough as I remembered and I was feeling better and also had some great tunes blasting on my iPod.  Felt a lot more like my old self.
  After having ridden the main climbs of the long distance EmbrunMan now over the last 2 days I appreciate the event a hell of a lot more than I did.  As a pro I often spent so little time reflecting on my past races that I never remembered them in any significant way.  I was always focusing on the next race or was just in a general zombie state from fatigue.
 We took it a little more carefully on the way down into Briancon.  What a spectacular city.
We arrived about an hour quicker than we thought we would as it was "only" 160km with nearly 10,000ft of climbing as opposed to the 180km we thought it was, and of course Steven zipped off to the pool to get in a 6km session with some extra sets for more points.  He's putting a lock on the Yellow jersey.
I had a beer (or two....) and ate and all was right with the world again although I know I won't run for a while.
Everyone made it safe and sound (no crashes.....)and our support crew found some great treats to surprise us with yet again.
Looking forward to tomorrow.