September is here again and that can only mean a week of Alpine cycling.
A different week this year; rather than being in the Central Alps where
the famous Hors Category mountains are, I am in Annecy. A lovely
location on the shores of the lake. Whilst there are no 2,000m mountains
in the vicinity, this should not be under-estimated. The local climb to
Cret du Chatillion (renamed Annecy-Semnoz last time the tour visited,
and rumoured to be a summit finish in 2018) is a true HC climb and with
the lower starting altitude, has a greater vertical gain than the Alpe
d'Huez. My previous Alpine adventures have generally featured a big
climb in the morning and slightly less strenuous riding in the afternoon
- this will not be the case this week. The routes I have planned all
have multiple climbs so I think this will be a harder week than usual,
time will tell. I am staying centrally in Annecy in the Ibis Styles,
definitely one-up on last year's Ibis Budget - it has a bar!
Cret du Chatillion, le Chatelard & Col de Leschaux. Un jour sans.
|A very chilly Montage du Semnoz|
It was very cold at the top and I regretting not packing my waterproof,
not for rain, but to help with the very cold descent down to the Col du
Leschaux at 900m. After the dropping onto the Col the surface on the
main road improved and I was able to pedal a bit more and hence warm up.
By now the sun was out but it took a while to get the chill out. I was
heading towards the Col du Frene and was a little worried about lunch. I
was passing through small villages on a Sunday afternoon outside of
holiday time and there was very little open. I was able to get a plate
of Frites in Le Chatelard but decided to turn back to explore the roads
nearer to the lake, rather than carry on original route. If I had known
that at le Chatelard I was already climbed 200m to be at 800m, I would
have continued to the Col du Frene as it tops out at a modest 950m, but
I thought that I would save my energy for the rest of the week and
headed back for the 7km climb back to Col de Leschauz. I was feeling
better by now, warm and fed and reached the Col quite quickly. Rather
than drop straight back down the main road to Annecy, I explored some
quiet roads passing through tiny villages (with shut restaurants!) with
great views of the Lake. I joined the Piste Cyclable at Saint Joriaz and
cycled back to Annecy with many other people enjoying this superb
facility and what was now a very pleasant afternoon.
A map of today's route can be seen here - though a couple of section are not quite right as Google kept 'correcting'. Why can't Google realise that I know more about cycling in the Alps than their spotty teenagers or clever algorithms.
Link to Day 2 at the bottom of the page (that is to make you look at the photos)
|Alpine Pastures - even without snow-capped mountains this is beautiful country|
|The Col de Leschaux - a modest 900m|
|View of Lake Annecy|
|Profile of today's ride - produced by GPSVisualizer.com|