Valliguieres to St Sauver de Montagut

The cycling gods obviously decided that I had it too easy yesterday and had a special treat in store for me. The beautifully calm valley I had been riding through last night became hell on earth today and all it took was a bit of wind.

The French call ‘Le Mistral’ the wind that drives people crazy and I can see why. There were occasions today when all I wanted to do was get off my bike and throw it in a ditch!

It comes to something when you spend most of the day looking forward to the odd lengthy climb on the leeward side of a hill that just because it provides a little protection. Unfortunately, because you are making your way up a fairly flat valley, the opportunities for shelter are minimal.

Almost the entire day was spent on the little ring at an average speed of about 12KM/H. This, I suppose, equates to a 100K hill climb of around 8% but without any of the corresponding sense of achievement.

The spectre of Ventoux was visible in the distance for most of the morning, but this was as close as my route would get to it. I shall have to tick that box another time.

There could have been some pleasant scenery or towns along the way, but nothing demands recollection. Montélimar was probably the most memorable, but only if you are a big fan of nougat (its okay but I’d take chocolate every time).

Eventually, at La Voulte-Sur-Rhône, I was able to turn left onto peaceful windless roads and spend the last 30K of the tour heading up into hills of the Ardèche.

I was thankful for the sedate end to the day; it served to remind me that the tour as a whole had been great and was a really pleasant way for it to end.

However, if you plan on coming this way, I seriously recommend you do so North to South!

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Day:15 of 15
Date:03 August 2007
To:St Sauveur
Distance:130 KM
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