News and Photos

Day 7    6th Sept

Auron /Alba

This was the last day of climbing in the Alps before we crossed over the Italian border - another  milestone on our epic journey. Col de La Lombarde was the mountain to conquer today - not quite as high as Col de la Bonette, but still one of the biggest Cols in the alps.  Drawing us on was today’s destination of Alba - famous for truffles, wine and chocolate.

Distance: 171.3km Climb: 2,572m

mhealth Grand Tour 2014

30th August to 15th September. Barcelona to Vienna. 2300km ride, 33000m of climb.

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It was an early start today for the Team, as there was one last mountain to get over before we could leave the Alps behind us.

The route? Roll down from Auron to Isola and then up Col de La Lombarde – one of the 10 biggest climbs in the alps.  Then it was downhill all the way! After expecting a day of cold wet weather we wrapped up warm,  only to discover that the French weather forecasts are as unreliable as everyone else’s! Consequently we all got a bit hot and bothered tapping our way up the mountain side in glorious sunshine!

The Team were able to enjoy some stunning scenery on their descent into Italy - when they could take their eyes off the rough tarmac long enough to enjoy it! Gradually the Alps disappeared behind them and the Team powered onward towards Alba - home to Ferrero, Nutella, white truffles and good wine.

Stage Breakdown         Day     1    2    3    4    5    Rest1    6    7    8    9    10    Rest2    11    12    13    14    15

The Team arrived at the top tired but in celebratory mood. This was our second border crossing on the top of a mountain! On such a clear day, the views were incredible too! A bite to eat, and then they wrapped up ready for a speedy descent.

Image left: The Alps disappear into the distance as the team head towards Alba. Image above right: Stunning views with Italian vineyards. Above middle - Rita Kingdon (in the TeamBG top) who has joined the team for this stage of the tour, along with Fritz Dittmann (above in bright orange)

The team arrived in Alba in the early evening. There were some tired and sore bodies, but there was a sense of relief that they were over the most challenging climbs of the tour. Phew!

In the briefing after dinner given by Adam Denton (right), the team were to learn that tomorrow’s ride may not be quite so straightforward however. Apparently on the ride to Bobbio, thunderstorms are forecast. Let’s hope that the Italian weather team are as unreliable as everyone else when it comes to their weather predictions!