Last August Betty and I drove down to Alpe d’Huez again for a couple of weeks cycling in the mountains and for me to take part in the Alpe d’Huez Triathlon again. This would be the third year running that I’ve entered this race and every year I say that this is the last time. But this year really is the last year, well for a couple of years. This is such an iconic race that it just seems to call me back to it. It could have something to do with watching the tour de France on the tele with my Dad when I was a lot younger and never having been out of the UK or to any mountains in the UK. It seems just such a herculean effort for the rides and at that time I didn’t even have a bike or any concept of the scale of the climbs. My earliest memories are of Robert Miller winning the king of the mountains in 1984 and Seam Kelly winning the green jersey. I remember watching Greg Lemond winning his first tour in 1986 and Stephen Roach almost catching Pedro Delgardo at the summit of Le Plagne with Phil Liggett shouting
“just who is that rider coming up behind? it looks like Roach!! it is Roach”
This is the point when Roach in effect won the tour he had closed down Pedro Delgardo who was 1min 20 sec in front but Roach closed the gap to a few seconds and took the lead in a time trial a few days later. I have inserted some you tube video below.
I think this is why I love to go to the mountains and ride my bike and the Alpe d’Huez triathlon is just an excuse to go.