26.Jul.2017

Jul 26, 2017

I’ve finally got a bit of time to write a post. I’ll start with the flight.

I had the pleasure of sitting next to Daniel Kowalski on the flight from Sydney to Dubai. Many will remember Dan and his sporting accomplishments, but for those who don’t, he has won an Olympic gold medal, as well as a silver and two bronze medals. He won them all in the pool, in middle and long distance swimming events. I reckon he was most famous for his 1500 metre prowess. Dan was heading to Budapest for the World Swimming Championships. It was great to talk to him about swimming, and I think he found it interesting listening to stories about my run around the world.

Anyhow, after arriving in Milan, we headed to the small mountain village of Oropa for the start of our tour. Oropa was the scene of a mountain top finish in a stage of this year’s Giro d’Italia. Yesterday we rode 143 km from Oropa, with 1883 metres (about 6,000 feet) of climbing, finishing in the stunning village of Courmayeur, right at the base of Mont Blanc, on the Italian side.

Today we rode over the Alps and into France. We started the day with a climb of the Col de Petit St Bernard, an ascent of 1200 metres over 23 km. It was 6 C at the top. We then donned our jackets for the 30 km decent. The girls had been following us to that point, taking photos. At the base of the climb, in Bourg St Maurice, they headed on while we continued riding. After lunch in Albertville, we rode on to our finishing point for the day in Annecy. This included 45 km on a stunning cycle path that ran along the shore of Lake Annecy for more than 15 km. We totalled 160 km for the day, including 1666 metres (over 5,500 feet) of climbing.

That means we’ve totalled 303 km in two days. I don’t think I’ve ever ridden that far in two days on the flat, let alone over the Alps. Tomorrow we do more climbs in the Alps. Gotta head off for dinner now. Annecy looks amazing.