Patrick, Robert and I descended around 1pm together as Casper decided to extend his lunch break. For the first time the descent felt great as the sun warmed up the roads and we didn’t freeze at all. The warm weather allowed us to get rid of our layers and climb in short sleeves! Finally! We took our time enjoying the views and talking to many people. This was my slowest time going up, but one of the most enjoyable as I was with my friends.
The atmosphere started to get better as volunteers also finally deserved the better weather. It was party time. You could hear songs like “Cotton Eye Joe”, “Jump”, “No limits” and many other very cheesy songs were really motivating, as volunteers all danced around the corners and offered drinks and food.
Patrick decides to take a little breather and Robert and I finish our 5th climb. I chose to take a short break as Robert needed a bit more time. On the 6th climb, I’m feeling mentally fatigued but actually my legs felt really good. I decide to “go for it”, maybe I can get my best time of the day? Well, it was close, I come in 11 seconds behind my best climb of the day. Quite amazing. All those FTP efforts and the bike camp in Le Grand Colombier are paying off big time. It’s 4pm and I’m at the top, someone on the climb already handed me a beer (that’s probably the moment I decided to stop…). I decide to wait for my friends here and not go for a 7th climb (for 2020?) and celebrate the brilliant event.
Soon enough Robert shows up, feeling fresh also, and hugely proud of his achievement. We go back to the apartment in fear of catching a cold as we wait, but shortly after Casper and Patrick finish their 5th climb of the day. Amazing!
The party begins. Volunteers and participants gather around the finish line and we celebrate the achievements of the day, thank all the volunteers for their brilliant work, and sing along to cheesy dutch songs (which I now know the chorus!). There are lots of tears from people all over. But the sense of achievement, inspiration and courage surpasses the feeling of sadness.
I cannot recommend the event enough, simply brilliant. Thanks to my team mate Casper, Robert and Patrick, and Han for his encouragements on the day supporting us on the course. We raised over EUR 7000 for cancer research and are left with life long memories.
My climbs :