Monthly Archives: September 2023

Tour des Stations 2023 – An Impressionistic Approach

The Marmotte

On the 5th of August 2023 I did another Marmotte, once again the Tour des Stations, based around Verbier, Switzerland, and was going to write it up.

But my cycling blog entries are all starting to sound alike (if even your friends won’t tell you, you have to tell yourself), so this time around I thought I’d do something different, drop the narrative arc, and just offer some impressions, some vignettes. All scrambled up. So…

A Scary Opportunity

The first descent:

It was cold on that first climb to the Col de Lien, I saw 4ºC on the bike computer. I passed the col and got a kilometre or two of descent under my belt, and for a while felt very alone, before a swarm of hornets passed: the best riders from the second pen had caught me up, and were leaving me behind.

At an intimidating speed.

But I saw the scary opportunity, and latched on to two riders. Their speed was well out of my comfort zone, but being in front, they proffered a kind of x-ray vision of the route ahead: as they disappeared around turns, I could sense from their braking, or lack of same, whether anything was coming up and if there was danger ahead, well before I could see it myself.

Descent to Sion

Perfect for a fast descent

You had to trust, you had to leap, but ohhh, was that leap fantastic.

It was the best cycling descent of my life.

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