L'Etape du Tour: Conquer the Pyrenees 2001
Lance Armstrong with victory in this year's Tour de France in sight on Stage 14
Picture by Hector Selth
Following the trial blazed by 6 members last year, Sandra Holder, Wayne Levet, Roger Manley, Hector Selth and Paul Thomson completed this year's gruelling "L'Etape du Tour" in the French Pyrenees on July 12th. , After the mixed fortunes of last year when extreme weather conditions prevent half of the field from completing the event, this year conditions were better, although rain and cold again featured to add to the severity of the event.
This year the route included 3 huge mountains - the Col d'Aspin, Col du Tourmalet and the final ascent Luz Ardiden - in the 144km starting from Tarbes. , Add to this 3 smaller climbs, hot sun in the valleys, rain on the biggest climb, shear drops on the descents and temperatures in single figures on the climb to the finish and you have one of the ultimate tests of endurance. ,