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Day 7 - the mini Stelvio

Oh it's all happy smiling faces now that the week together has come to an end. In beautiful morning sunshine four of us chose to ride up one of the lesser talked about Alpine climbs, the road up to the Lago di Cancano that has the twin turrets of Torri di Fraele at the top. It's another climb of over 700 meters with a staircase of hairpin bends snaking up the mountain. Today rather than riding alone, I had Trevor as my superdomestique, riding alongside me. As the climb averaged 7% and rarely went above 9% it was much more manageable than the past two days. Apart from a quick ten second stop to wiggle my back, I made it up in one, finishing in 62 minutes. I wouldn't be troubling the Strava leader board but that's hardly the point. This was the first enjoyable climb of the week. Trevor commented that I would probably have been better off starting with this and another couple of shorter climbs before tackling the giants. Noted for my next trip. He was kind enough not to suggest that I should also drop 10kg but we both know he was thinking this.

Meanwhile the team mental case James had decided to take on the Mortirolo again from the other side, so he could complete the set of doubles on each of the three big climbs. He wanted to push himself hard one last time. If we had been back home then today James would have been racing in the Grand Fondo World Championships in Glasgow having qualified via the Tour of Cambridge. I think he's climbed higher than Everest this week, at least 2000m more than the rest of us.

On the decent of the mountain my brakes started to protest, squealing at every hairpin bend. They've been suffering all week to cope with my now timid descending style and my weight. By the time I reached the bottom they had started to fade, so while everyone else was enjoying the thermal spa in the afternoon, I was wondering around Bormio looking for replacement brake pads. Thankfully I found some and Trevor fitted them (of course he did). Still, 44 euros....ouch.

Why bother? Well, because I'm not going home with the rest of the crew. Tomorrow is a transfer day for me. We will drive to the champagne region and stop overnight and I will ride the long way home from there. It should be about 700km. But no more mountains. I've had enough of those for the time being.

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