Stage 10 of the 2011 Tour de France is up and down for its entire route with a number of categorized climbs, but almost guarantees a bunch sprint, one of the last opportunities for the likes of Mark Cavendish, Thor Hushovd and Alessandro Petacchi to get a win before the race hits the Champs-Elysees. With a new yellow jersey, a strong green jersey leader in Phillipe Gilbert and the showdown on Luz Ardiden looming, these two days of transition are going to offer some exciting racing.
In an completely unabashed name-steal from the Tour of Lombardy, I’ve set to very casual work at creating the first annual Tour of the Falling Leaves in Traverse City, Michigan. The initial work was invested in messing around on MapMyRide and putting together three killer routes for the weekend, including a time trial on beautiful Old Mission Peninsula. With the vineyards, views of the bay and topography to rival Solvang (kinda) the TT should be quite the event. The climbing route will feature on Saturday, boasting of nearly 60 miles and 2,000 feet of climbing, just enough to keep everyone somewhat fresh for the final ascent which will decide the leader’s jersey, which will be a $20 jersey I bought at a mountain bike race last year.
I’ve ridden one hundred miles before, and I’m sure you have too. I’ve done a century on the road three times now, including the hilly Michigan Mountain Mayhem last year, where Wes ‘won’ with the official best time. We did the 100 mile, 7,800 feet of climbing in a grand total of five hours and forty-eight minutes, and, barring one shaky episode, did it without any real trouble. So why not, I thought quite stupidly, hop on some fat tires and go try it on the dirt.