Col des Gets (1,170 m), Col de la Colombière (1,613 m), Col des Aravis (1,486 m) and Col des Saisies (1,650 m)
First day of the ride proper. We had a good breakfast in the hotel and went into town in search of the plaque which commemorates the start of the Route des Alpes. It was easy to find because around 100 riders were already there, complete with a film crew, support vehicles, and photographers. They were riding the 2015 Cyclo des Grandes Alpes which navigates the route to Menton (and back again), We saw a fair bit of these guys today because most were riding slower than us. But, unlike us, they didn’t stop for coffees or lunch, so we kept passing them again and again. Their first overnight stop was in Flumet where they’d probably booked up all the available accommodation. Luckily, we were on a different schedule and had the extra climb of the Col des Saisies to negotiate to our first stop at Beaufort.
The Col de la Colombière was probably the toughest climb of the day. It was decidedly hot in the sunshine and I was soaked with sweat at the summit. A cola flavor Calippo ice lolly went down well with my coffee.
We were passed a few times today by a convoy of classic cars and they stopped in the same café as us on the Col des Saisies. Plaques on their cars said they were doing the Route des Alpes this week too. They were drinking beer at most of their café stops.
We found ourselves a reasonable hotel in Beaufort, showered, changed, enjoyed a couple of beers, before heading into town for supper. The meal was fine, but one of the problems with touring in the mountains is that restaurant portions aren’t always adequate for hungry cyclists, so we followed up dinner with extra chips from an outdoor bar. The chips came with beer.