The Green Army: Geneva to Allevard
The Green Army are a team of seventeen cyclists, completing various stages of the London - Paris - Geneva - Nice cycling challenge. They are cycling in support of their good friend and colleague who has been diagnosed with lymphoma. To date, the team have raised in excess of £30,000 for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research through this event alone!
The weather today was forecast to be hot and sunny and we were not disappointed. Leaving the hotel at about 8am (supposed to be 7.30am but Jenks contrived to have 2 punctures before he even sat on his bike!) we cycled downto the lake in Geneva for the official start and group photo.
Once the photo was done we set off, working our way through the early morning traffic. Once out of the city we very soon found ourselves faced with a hill, with a very helpful sign telling us it was 14km long and an average gradient of 6%. First drinks break was at 18 miles and from that point on the scenery was breathtaking with snow capped mountains. With lunch at 43 miles, we faced the prospect of scaling our first official col, another 14km of climbing which certainly helped work up an appetite. The subsequent descent was exciting, famous for the spot where Lance Armstrong took a shortcut across a field.
In the afternoon we complete a further Col ascent, with another rapid and highly technical descent to follow. Drinks awaited us at the bottom and were told the remaining 18 miles were flat. This was music to my ears as my front derailleur had failed leaving me in my big chainring (I'll let the cyclists amongst you explain that one). However, it was untrue and we soon found ourselves climbing again.
During all of this I must make special mention of Marc Champ and Peter Brown, who both clocked in excess of 100 miles today as a result of being unable to navigate from one orange marker to another! Peter actually climbed an extra cold during his "diversion"!
The day finished with an excellent meal in the hotel followed by a stroll into the local town centre to listen to the music and get a beer.
Looking forward to tomorrow, where we have been promised a "b*stard steep" hill just before lunch.