Col de Serenne & Alpe d’Huez

Ade and Spenna Col de SarenneThe original plan today was to tackle the Col de la Madeleine but the start of that climb is over and down the Glandon, the one we’ve already done as part of the Marmotte. So we were going to take both vans over and the car but nobody fancies a one and half hour drive there and back in this heat.

So instead we’re going to go over the nearby Col de Serenne, across the top and then down the Alpe d’Huez. And half way up the Serenne do a short detour off to Besse-en-Oisans for a morning coffee, It’s gonna be another hot one so we set off at 6 am and hope to get over the Serenne before the worst of the heat…

We rendevous at Bge du Chambon by another stunning lake and then shortly after is a sharp left up the Col. The lads navigate this successfully but both me and the Sat Nav miss it. I realise something isn’t right a few kilometers down the road and double back to chase the lads up the Col.

I manage to catch them all about half way and take a few snaps but Coxy is a long way ahead at this point so I’m unlikely to see him again till the top. The lads have also now decided to give the detour to Besse-en-Oisans a miss.

We push on through the trees and I’ll be honest it’s bit disapointing from my point of view. You can’t see far, up or down, so no views. A bit dull but there you go…However at around 4 km from the top it opens out as we get above the tree line and wow, talk about spectacular! Really stunning and one of the best we’ve been on.

But these last 4km are the also the steepest and the lads struggle up in the now rising temperature.

Coxy of course is already up at the top and can see right down the valley and follow our progress. I overtake a few of the lads but don’t get up before Ian, Roly and Gibbo who have already joined Coxy at the top. We look down the valley and watch Marty, Ade, Spenna and Chucky over the last 2 km.

It’s at this point Johnny calls in wondering where we are. We’re at the top! But Johnny didn’t know the Besse detour was cancelled and he’s gone there so he’ll have to come back down that road to the Serenne and then climb up and now it’s getting really hot…

John wants to do it so he grinds on while I wait at the top for him and the rest of the lads go over the top to Alpe d’Huez for lunch.

I can now see several cyclists coming up the road below but which one’s Johnny? Even with the new super zoom lense I can’t pick out Johnny among the back markers… and…let’s be honest the ones I can see are going a bit too well…

After another half hour or so I can just make out a cyclist emerging from the trees… is it him? Well, the speed’s about right…but I can’t remember what colour shirt he had on… but this lad’s definetely an XXXL… gotta be Johnny!!

He grinds out the switch backs and I really feel for him in this heat but he wants to do it so I stay put…

He finally gets up exhausted and after a well earned rest we push on over to the Alpe d’Huez ski resort to meet the rest of the lads and then do the descent.

We’ll be back up here tomorrow climbing up from camp. It’s Donkey Derby Day!!

BTW Roly took a tumble going over to Alpe d’Huez. He’s OK so don’t worry but we might have to give him more of a start on the Donkey Derby tomorrow… (maybe… just maybe… he fell off on purpose to gain vital extra minutes…) all will be revealed…

Roly on the Serenne

Marty Chucky and Steve - Col de Serenne

Steve - Col de Serenne

Johnny G Col de Sarenne

Summit Alpe d Huez

Johnny G Alpe d Huez