Training, racing, gear, facial hair styles and thoughts from my push to become an elite cyclist.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Col de la Madone

Rising above the principality of Monaco is the climb up the Col de la Madone.  Most Americans will recognize it as the namesake of Trek's flagship road bike for the last ten years.  Madone has never been used in the Tour de France or Paris Nice and is only known because Lance used it as a training ride when he lived in Nice.

We climbed basically from sea level to about 900 vertical meters within a few short miles.  The grade is consistent and remarkably not terribly steep.  It's hard to compare the European climbs I've done to anything in Vermont- they're much less steep but far longer; there weren't any sections that were nearly as steep as Bolton or the summit of App Gap from the Bristol side.

I run a compact 34/50 up front, and normally I use an 11-23 for most riding and switch to a cassette with a 25 or 26 for steep sections.  I only had room in my bag for one cassette for this trip so I went for the do-it-all 11-26 Red Powerdome cassette and was really glad I did.  I spent a lot of time in the 26 today, but I never felt like I wanted anything lower (unlike Bolton).

John stumbled upon a blog from a French guy using the Moon Rider handle.  He's running a 34/28 low gear and I officially apologized today for ever giving him any shit for pushing such a low ratio.

Here's the power file from just the Col de la Madone.  Pictures to follow.

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