St Lary, 17 July 2005

We had a great day out watching the Tour de France. I hooked up with Steve and some of his guests to ride over the Col d'Aspin and down into St Lary to warch the finish of the most gruelling stage of the 2005 Tour de France.

Infact only three of us road up Aspin, the others whimped out and went up by car. Here we are all at the top ready for a swift descent on the southern side of the col d'Aspin -- Its an awesome descent especially with most of the traffic going our way. I clocked up 78kph (thanks to the added ballast of paniers and several loaves of French bread and cheese). Its noce having V-brakes on a road bike. I was also pretty pleased that I had got round to putting gears on my bike -- both for the ascent and the descent.

We rode a couple of km up the final climb -- boy is it a hard one -- 10km at an average of 8.3%, and found a good place with a bit of shade to watch.

Eventual winner George Hincapie went by with Michael Boogerd and Oscar Pereiro.

Armstrong and Basso head to head in the final climb with Ulrich suffering a few seconds behind them.

Cadel and Floyd Landis followed a little later

As we descended the other riders of the peleton passed us looking in pretty bad shape, especially Botero who was almost last.

The ride back for me was also quite hard, back over a slightly higher col than Aspin just to the south. Eventually got home at about 8pm afte 98.5km and about 4 3/4 hours in the saddle.

Another great day at the Tour de France to remeber.