Well, I made it to the top of Le Tourmalet and it wasn’t as tough as I feared, although it was hard enough, thanks, and I was very nervous the evening before the big climb.
This was mainly because we had a very hard day getting to the bottom of the climb, “positioning” via the Col Du Soulor, which is also a Tour de France favourite. Although it’s almost 700 metres lower at the summit, the Soulor starts at a lower altitude and is steeper, on average, so it’s actually a more intense climb, even though it’s much shorter – 12km versus 19km. The average gradient is about 9 percent, while the Tourmalet averages 7.4.
That meant I arrived at our overnight hotel just about exhausted and very doubtful indeed of my ability to recover overnight and climb Le Tourmalet next morning. A shower and a good meal improved my mood a lot and by next morning, after a good breakfast, I felt much more confident.
And my confidence was well placed, because, while the climb was long it was definitely doable. And now it’s done and I pulled that tee shirt on in record time!
Like a lot of things in life, getting to the start can be be hardest part. If you’re ready for the challenge, you’ll make it. Of course, you won’t really know for sure until you actually do it.
It’s not just a case of “Just do it”, but in the end that’s what it comes down to.