18 August 2010

Bourdeau...? Hautacam...? Stages 15 and 16

First off some music from Europe:

Gaetan Roussel - Help Myself (Nous ne Faisons Que Passer)

Stage 15 (Tuesday)

On July 21st, 1989, during the Tour De France, Greg LeMond won stage 19 in a sprint finish from a small breakaway group here in Aix-Les-Bains. Again in 2001 a stage finished here with a Dutch win by Michael Booderd. This place has some awesome history. I began looking at a map.

Across the lake is a city called, Bourdeau. I start thinking, no way, is this the region known so well for their wine?! Although equally beautiful, and a few vineyards it is not the Bourdeau I was thinking about…. The real Bourdeaux wine comes from Western France and has an 'X' at the end. [Bourdeaux]

Again across the lake and a 30min ride away is an amazing climb. The name of this climb had Hautacam in it. I start thinking again, no way! Hautacam is a very famous climb in the Tour de France as seen in the video below!
However as I was climbing I did not see any painting on the road. It was a good enough climb but doubts began to slip into my mind. With a little more research the more famous Hautacam is in the Pyrenees. Not Les Alpes.

None the less, Aix Les Bain’s version of Bourdeau was very beautiful and the Hautacam rising above Lac Bourget was an amazing climb and made you feel like you were Lance Armstrong putting the hurt on Marco Pantani.

Stage 16 (Wednesday)

Today is the last full day in France. Today was a feel good day in the pool. Began with a shorter swim with a few efforts to work out the soreness that had been accumulated from Sunday’s race. Couple of hours later I was back in the "Bourdeau region" (villa) for a short ride.
Tomorrow we head to Lausanne for the final stages of the European Competition Tour.

Till then,
Ciao for now,
Andrew McCartney

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