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  • alasdairdchisholm

A fantastic day in France for four jaggies. 5th of July 2019.

Angus, Stuart, Jim and myself (AL) had already had severel days cycling and climbing the incredible roads around the small village of Le Frêne

Saint Alban des Villards where we were staying with our host Jim Greig.

I can't remember if it was a suggestion by Jim G or Angus but the ride to Susa was suggested. What a great day it turned out to be!

We all jumped out the van just after Val-Cenis and followed the D1006 which gave us our first set of hairpins to climb up and then ride along the side of the Lac du Mont-Cenis and some incredible views and on to the the french / Italian border.

The road after we crossed the border was a cyclists dream!

We went down the SS25 from France into Italy, where you immediately noticed the immaculate road surface, and down to Susa.

The rode rode down was just incredible and a very long descent of sweeping hairpins on a prefect road surface. Susa itself was very picturesque but the cold Cokes and Pizza followed by ice cream, as of course we were in Italy, were very welcome. Jim OCD decided to neck a large ice cold lager which at the time looked great but I think we all knew it would come back to bite you in the heat!

The second part was an epic climb in blistering heat!

Susa to Moncenisio, Piedmont on the SP212 turned out to be one hell of a climb.

The SP212 is a tiny country road that snaked back up the descent we had just dropped down. It's a mixture of tough gradients, sharp hairpins, on a narrow winding broken surfaces that really pushes you to your limits!

This was combined by the the rock face bouncing the heat back at you as if you'd opened the oven door meant water was finished long before the climb was. I had even taken my helmet off before my brain cooked!

Over the day almost two thirds of the distance covered was up!

The kind of challenge that we all live for and hope to survive on the bike!

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