22 August 2011

Epic Camp France 2011 Day 6 - Annecy

Epic Camp France 2011 - Day 6 in Annecy

Having never been here before I was a little hesitant to follow John's suggestion that we spend 3 nights here.  I prefer to stay in small places if possible during these camps so its quiet, the homestyle hospitality is great, there's some good trails to run near-by and little traffic to hassle with.
But this city is gorgeous!  Really looking forward to a stroll through the city today. 
As I write this most of the campers are done for the day.
We started with an Aquathon - a Newsom specialty.  He's very balanced and quick with super transitions so he's hard to beat at these things.
The swim was about 1km and the run was about 5km.
I just did the swim since I can't run and managed to stay warm.  Not cold at all.  I'd guess at a water temp of around 22C.
Lord and Newsom took off and pulled away quickly, leaving me to navigate for the rest of us and I came out with Clas, Russell and Zach.  Clas set to work quickly and made up a minute+ to Newsom in no time at all.  Good to see him flying along once again, especially considering he hasn't done one hard/fast run this year. Lord held on for 3rd, Zach 4th and Douglas surprisingly held off Russell for 5th.  The old geezer was really rolling!
Breakfast had some exceptional crepes ( I know - photos or it didnt happen - I'll get them tomorrow) and then some R&R before a 10:30 roll-out for the ride up yet another mountain.
Here's the climb for those inclined to look for great climbs:
16km and 4,000ft gain.  KOM at the top so the pace was on right from the start.
Clas took it from Zach by standing nearly the entire climb with Rob Palmer hanging right there with the studs the whole way. 
I was thrilled to get to the top as it was a real sufferfest for me with "old man's back" and not much in the tank.
It was a big cloudy and shaded, so not as hot as it could have been and when we had lunch at a cafe at the top the sun did come out right on cue.
Great view of Mt. Blanc from that mt. top.  
I suppose its just another of the thousand great climbs in France.  We saw a whole bunch of what looked like average folks on that mountain today.  Your perspective about what a hard ride is would certainly be different if you lived here.
Some of us took the long way down which included some great descending with very little traffic.  So only 45 km for that route, but a lot of challenge and fun packed into it.
My trining for the day was done, but Steven headed out for another 2-hour run.  What's the saying about a madman (Englishman) out int he mid-day sun?  It was a cookin' 32C here while he was running.  
I slept!
The KOM is still a close battle but the Yellow jersey is virtually out of reach now with our 12-hour rule. 
Tomorrow is a killer day with 3 very hard climbs in 30C+, plus a swim in the am and a run in the heat pm.
Everyone is holding up OK though except me!  No real illness or injury since the camp began and everyone is holding up really well.