The last few ticks

At the end of March, there were still a few things on my "to do this season" list, so in the last few weeks of the season I've been busy ticking most of them off. We're now back in the UK, so it will soon be time to start a new list for the summer season. I'm really excited about the summer - we're going to be working for Alpine Quests, helping to run three chalets in Chatel, in the Portes du Soleil area. The area is probably the most famous mountain biking region in the Alps so I'm planning to do plenty of riding as well as running. We should have plenty of time off so I can hopefully get really fit and also do some racing. Team Accelerate-Scott are continuing to support me which is fantastic, I aim to pay back their generosity with some good results and publicity over the summer season!

So, for now, here are a few photos of the last few "ticks"...

10th April: "Do a race"



I ran the Defi la Olympe race, from Brides les Bains to Meribel Les Allues. The race follows the route of the Olympe ski lift, hence the name, and was a pretty unrelenting uphill-only blast of 26 minutes or so! I had a good race with another guy and we pulled out a good gap on those behind us, but in the end after swapping the lead a few times on the way up, he pulled away over the last third of the race and eventaully had about 30 seconds on me. A great race and a beautiful day, but sadly I had to leave before prizegiving so missed out on a hamper of Savoyard goodies.

14th April: "Ski the Grand Couloir"




We had a little late snowfall in our final official week of the season, so with Lorna and her Dad I headed up to the top of the Saulire lift and we skied down the famous Grand Couloir. It was covered in huge moguls but was nonetheless good fun, though some of the other off piste runs we did that day were at least equally as good and probably more challenging, if not as famous in name.

19th April: "Ride Moutiers - VT"



The ride from Moutiers (432m) to Val Thorens (2342m) has only featured in the Tour de France once, in 1994 I think, but it is well known by local cyclists as a bit of a beast. The distance in one direction is 37km, so my ride in total was about 74kms. I started at the chalet, rode disconcertingly up for a while (the only section of downhill on the climb is just below La Combe) then down to Moutiers to start the climb. Just less than 2 and a half hours later I was 1900 metres higher up in the centre of Val Thorens.  With the little hump the total climb was over 2000m. On a mountain bike I was quite happy with my time, which turned out to be only 36 seconds behind multiple Adventure Racing world champion Richard Ussher according to Strava... Though it is entirely possible that he was also on a mountian bike, in winter, at night, with a headwind, after 8 days of racing, or something.

21st April: "Eat at La Bouite"



With 3 Michelin stars, La Bouite is one of the best restaurants in the world. It's excruciatingly expensive, but having worked hard and saved money in a little box all season Lorna and I decided we should try it. It didn't dissapoint. We had the four surprise menu, which once complete with amuse bouches, pre-starters, palette cleansers, pre-desserts and petit fours constituted a fantastic three hours of eating. Everything was amazing, but the roasted pigeon breast was probably the best thing I have ever eaten. The meal was a fitting end to a fantastic season, and the next morning we packed the van to the brim and set off home...

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