Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Stage 3 Villenueve to Lanslebourg

in the morning it was sunny again and so it should be for a town that says it gets 300days of sun a year.

Francois gave me an alternate route to take to lanslebourg, one with less traffic and riding thru a national park across the border to italia.

he was right, no traffic and the road was spectacular. again more climbing but i was starting to get used to it. I climbed up and over the col d'lechelle and then descended on the most breathtaking descent ive ever riden into bradonecchia Italy. The descent has recently been resurfaced and had a panoramic view of the alps. I rode the whole thing with a smile on my face taking the switchbacks as fast as i could.

once in italy i pumped it down the flats to Oulx where i stopped for a lunch of whatelse? PIZZA! this pizza was killer and was thick crust, were taking like on foccacia bread so mega carbs for fuel. talked with two japanese students who were riding as well and they were headed to Turin. i was more interested in visting smaller towns and as many mountains as i could.

set off after lunch about 1230 to susa, more flats and descending on road S24. in and out of Susa and then started to climb again. Although this wasnt the steepest climb it was the hardest. very long 43k from italy to france with no remorse. It was an epic climb with bright sun. i rolled thru town after town abandoned until the winter when it looked as if they would be bubbling with skiers.

The main point i made on this climb was this:

France and Italy are not seperated by a border. I rode past the border and it was derlict and boarded up. France and Italy are seperated by the Alps and strong winds. They are definitley there and make you work to go from country to country.

after 3 hours of climbing i needed more fuel and stopped for some more pizza. when i started out again i had a burst of energy and attacked the climb, but after only a couple minutes i had suddenly reached the top of the col du mount cenis 2083m.

another great descent past lakes and rivers passing cars on the switch backs and arriving in lanslebourg right at the bottom of the mountain. very nice place with a lot of development going on.

not the warmest place though, as even with the sun out it got below zero at night. hostel had a great dinner with lots to eat.

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