The first climb out of Corte to Castria is not tough by any means but it stretches the legs of the lads and is a good warm-up. We cross over the D84 where we passed the other day and head up a single track road towards Piedigriggio.
This is a lovely steady climb and descent. We’re passing through some wonderful scenery with great views and wild life and there’s no-one else around. But I’m hearing bickering in the ranks….
There’s been banter between Coxy and Roly after Coxy told Roly to get closer to a cow for a photo op, only for the cow to toss it’s head as he went past nearly giving Roly a puncture we wouldn’t be able to fix!
There are also murmurs among the the other lads that people are hanging at the back of the peloton getting an easy ride and then jumping out near the summit to try and bag the points (mentioning no names Marty).
Sets it all up nicely for the final climb of the day on the Col de Colombano. We stop for lunch before the start of the climb as we know there are no cafes on it and then get along to the start. Let battle commence….
The first part of the climb is very easy and all the lads fly along except poor John who gets a puncture and has to pull up while we give assistance. We then chase the lads up until we pass the leading two and we can tell both Coxy and Roly are going for it.
We pause for photos and wait for the grupetto to get to us. Who’s that drafting at the back, getting an easy ride?…. wouldn’t be Marty would it?
We push on to the summit passing the leaders again just as Roly puts a spurt on. Can he drop Coxy as the gradient ramps up?…
When we get to the summit a spectacular sight awaits us. You can see right down to L’lle Rousse and the coast. Awesome!
We can also see back down the road and witness the ongoing battles…
We catch our first glimpse of a lone rider on the final kilometres but he’s too far away to tell who it is but as he gets closer there’s no doubt. It’s Coxy who put the burners on from 2k out and was just too strong for Roly this time.
We wait for the grupetto and and they all come up together but 200 metres from the finish a rider sneaks out, puts the burners on and tries to drop the others. Marty – have a word with yourself!! He’s not successful though and Gibbo tops this group.
Kev arrives shortly after completing the full ride today. A great effort from the big fella.
But where’s Johnny? He should have been here by now so there’s a problem and we head back down to look for him. Sure enough, he’s had another puncture! We sort him out then he carries on as he’s only a few kilometres from the top.
We then push on to the digs arriving at the same time as the lads. Fabulous place this. The lads are chilling round the pool and we’ll go out shortly for eats and a look around…