Day 3 Raid Pyrenean

Today started and ended in rain, between which we baked. Today's total was 174km with 3180m of ascent.

Low cloud and damp greeted us which was lovely after yesterday's frying experience. Droplets of drizzle stood on my arm and leg hairs (I don't shave them) and kept us cool as we climbed towards the Col d'Aspin.

Then the sun won, punching through the cloud, burning it off, casting flickering beams of light through the trees. Above the temperature inversion, and then no cloud at all. Back in the oven.

Down the other side and back up, up again, the interminable climb of the Col de Peyresourde. Actually, it's a lovely climb, much better than I thought having only driven this side.

Delicious pancakes then down to Bagneres de Luchon.

The advantage of being with a group is the ability to draft in pace-lines and six of us covered the twenty plus kilometres at over 30kph, not bad with a headwind.

Two more cols, the Col d'Ares and the Col d'Burette, although I might have got the last one wrong as it was little more than a bump.

Then Portet d'Aspet. Not excessively high but steep. To give you an idea - 7% and I can almost spin my legs - 9% and I'm mashing pedals - this had sections reported to be 17%.

All done? Not quite. 25km to St Gerons then 25km (slightly uphill) to Massat. In torrential rain.

You know what? It was great. Tomorrow has even more climbing over five, yes five cols.

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