Congratulations to the 5 'mos who successfully completed all 7 stages of a Haute Route this August - each one consisting of long and mountainous stages over many iconic climbs, with a "rest day" hill climb time trial halfway through the week. With Mavic support, marshals at every single junction stopping traffic, motorbike outriders, time cut offs and massages at the finish, this is apparently the closest to a "living like a pro" experience an amateur can have.
First up was Claude Autrey who put in a very solid performance in the 910km/19300m Haute Route Pyrenees from Anglet to Toulouse, finishing 120th in the GC.
Then at the Haute Route Alps (896km/22200m) between Nice and Geneva, there were more excellent results from the LD team - Alexander Donaldson, Mark Noblet, Mark Gray and Lillian Choy. Ignoring Claude's wise counsel regarding pacing, Alex and Mark G. quickly raced off at the start of Stage 1. They were then both subsequently found by Mark N and Lillian, lying down in the sunshine by the feed station in the neutralised section after 120km of timed racing. Everyone rode more sensibly after that which was just as well as there were some epic stages. Stage 5 was 183km with 4500m of ascent!
Out of around 320 cyclists who started in Nice, Mark Gray came in 43rd in GC, Alex Donaldson 60th and Mark Noblet 165th. Lillian Choy was one of only 18 women who completed all 7 stages (beating Emma Pooley who DNFed!).