hArdennes Recon stage 3 : Malmedy Madness
Walt used a “Real World Calling” card this time, ( something about “work”), so I rode solo into more wind than is considered ‘safe’ by most. I saw no other cyclists all day. Nevertheless it was another great ride and confirmed once again to me what a special series of rides we share every year in April. It hurts, but afterwards it feels so good.
Stage 3, Monday, clocks at 176kms with 3,400m of up. It takes us over to Malmedy for some real steepness madness there. On our way we check out the top of the Stockeu (with it's new tarmac descent : yay!) and are reminded about the Tour star this year at the “Grand Depart” :-
The “etc.” is surely the best bit about this plaque !
We hit four properly steep climbs in and around Malmedy before heading out towards the Hautes Fagnes region, the highest part of Belgium. We cross the Lac de Robertville, which looks nice if the sun is shining, but not so charming when there's a freezing, storm-wind and you see more mud than water. There is even a café that we might have to use if we can't picnic in some nice April sun :-
We get some nice views of F1 Spa Francorchamps circuit too :-
There is lots of nice tarmac again, of course - trust us! - but also some proper hArdennes stuff, to keep you all alert :-
I have tamed down the way back a little, with a couple of stupid-steep climbs taken out, replaced with “steady” ones. You will still complain though. I would be offended if you didn't.
More next week. ( Apparently it's a good thing if we are getting cold, wild weather now - more chance of sun in April. Very nice.) Phil.