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Word of Caution

Here is a word of caution from Charlie, a guy I was due to reccie the course at the end of May with..

"OK, I was due to do a recce in May but the weather was real bad and we abandoned, but I have now done it, well I got to the top of Port de Bales! Guys please go read the description on the Rapha website (features). Its very accurate. What caught me out (big time!!) is the amount of invisible climbing. Port de Bales is easy right at an average of what 6%? Well the first 10kms are between 3 and 5%. BUT the 2nd 10kms are at 8 and 14%, it does not let up and you are a ways into the etape with a SOB to come. Col de Mente is very very tough, You climb for 2kms, dip down and then ramp up like alpe d'huez. This will sort out many people. Last year was tough, this year its a lot harder, mentally you have to expect the worse and you have to eat and drink lots from the go. Compact at the least, triple wont do any harm. Guys some of us wont make this, it will be no shame, anybody entering it is brave enough. One recommendation dont overtrain so that you are exhausted before it starts, start changing sleeping times, go to bed early and get up real early. Do stretches 3 times a day. Carry salt tablets, cramp is a certainty. One thing though, the view is stunning."

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