That is what the contestants in the Tour de France did yesterday. This first few climbs were just a prelude to the 2000 metre high Col de Madeleine – a massive 1626 metre climb in the heat of a summers day.
When you saw the race leaders sprinting to the finish, you just wondered where on earth they got their energy from – mine would have been well gone on that first climb. Even when I was younger and rode a bike a lot, by that stage, I would have been a quivering wreck ready to go home.
After an interesting day in the high mountains, the race lead has transferred to Andy Shelck who I expect will keep the yellow jersey until at least the Pyrenees and may even hold it until the individual time trial.
Sadly for the young Saxo Bank rider, the Spaniard, Alberto Contador is the better time trialler and so will likely gain back any time he has lost on that stage. If I was a betting man, which I am not, my money would be on Contador to be in yellow on the Champs-Élysées but who knows, there is plenty of racing left to go.