Day 3 - Provence
Excellent day today. Left St. Martin de Vesubie and immediately began climbing the Col st Martin. Was greeted with rain at the top and we geared up at the van for a wet descent. Dropped 1000m in 17k and then began the ascent of the highest paved pass in Europe, the Col de la Bonette (2860m), starting from 480m. (7200ft of climbing)
Began with a gradual 28k ascent through the Gorges de Valabres to the town of St Etienne de Tinee (1144m) and engaged in some serious eating. The weather had cleared and it was beautiful with temps in the high 80s F. Clouds moved in but things stayed dry, creating perfect climbing weather. Stopped once near the top to grab wind gear and enjoyed a great climb (photo shows about 1/2 of the ascent
from St. Etienne). Light wind and temps in the low 50s at the top.
First 1000m/10k (10% avg!!!) of the descent was on fresh pavement and it was a screamer. Dropped a total of 1700m over 33k on the descent to Barcelonnete, a big resort town, and our base for the next three days.
5:35 riding time
9500 ft total climbing
Calories unknown, likely around 4000