TdFF daily stage 7: the iconic Tourmalet
The famed Pyrenean climb debuts in the Tour de France Femmes
The debut of the Col du Tourmalet in the Tour de France Femmes promised to make for a memorable stage, and it certainly was.
Before the peloton had even set off for the day’s 89.8-km stage out of Lannemezan, thick clouds were already beginning to roll in on the Pyrenean summit where they would stay put until long after the last rider had crossed the finish line.
The moment the flag dropped to start the stage, the racing was on. There were multiple early attacks, but nothing was able to stick through the opening 20 kilometers. Magdeleine Vallieres was then part of a 13-rider break that seemed to have potential, but ultimately never gained more than a minute on the peloton and was caught within five kilometers.
Next for us was Sara Poidevin to attack. She went solo, trying to bridge to a pair of riders up the road, but she, along with that two-rider break, was caught after a few kilometers.
The peloton reached the base of the Col d’Aspin all together and it was on this climb that the racing truly began. The general-classification favorites escaped and were not seen again by the peloton. When the race reached the opening ramps of the 17-kilometer-long Col du Tourmalet, our squad was able to save their energy and ride through the clouds and fans, both of which were equally impressive.
Alison Jackson had put out a call for a cheeseburger on social media the night before the stage, so she had her own personal quest on the Tourmalet.
While we missed having Veronica Ewers on the stage she was most looking forward to race, our team rode with heart and joy up the iconic climb. We’re proud of you all.
Hear from our riders about their Tourmalet experiences.
It was so long. Why?
I started the first climb full gas to see how long I could handle the first group, so I did like half the first climb with the small group and then I dropped back. I just rode easy then.
We fought at the beginning, tried some stuff. This climb we were riding easy. We had the time to enjoy the cheering.
With less than 20 k before the first climb of the day, I tried to bridge to the break but I was pretty empty. I just didn't quite have it to bridge to them and I got caught. We tried to race as hard as we could. We had nothing to lose today so we tried to have some fun.
It was really cool to see so many fans out on the course, even though it was raining, cold and foggy. On some parts it was so loud that I couldn’t even hear my own breathing.
There were three out on course: two painted on the road and one little cardboard cut out but no real burgers at all. I’ve got to be more specific next time! Less emojis! But I did get some Haribo gummy eggs, a cookie, maple syrup, and a Coke. I took it. I took it all.