An away ride today - 80 minutes in the car and then we stretched our legs up the Ballon d'Alsace - the most consistent 9km at 7% I have ever seen. Good road conditions as we climbed up through the forests, and it was overcast enough not to be roasting hot. Great views from the summit and a really nice descent!
Some undulating road followed until we hit Plancher les Mines - and then it climbed up until we turned off to go up what will be the individual time trial on the last proper stage of the 2020 Tour de France - the Planche des Belles Filles. Brutal is a good word to describe the climb. Often changing the gradient, and often over 10%. I opted for the multi-stop strategy. The final 300m is at 20% up to the finish line - very challenging as the front wheel was constantly lifting with combination of the effort to turn the back wheel and the gradient.
Those who listened at the top got lunch, and the remainder sped off down the mountain in search of personal best speeds.
The following climb up the Ballon de Servance was tough in its own way - the temperature had risen and the poorer surface made up for the gradient. Top summited and the descent underway - a few sketchy moments on the poor road surface, we caught up with the splinter group at Col des Croix - splendid views from here!
A final decent into Le Thillot before a quick trip up the valley to the cars. All in all, a tough day.