hArdennes Recon Stage 6 : Forest

To spend 21 March, the official start of Spring, “working” all day on the bike is a wonderful privilege ! It was one of those glorious “Life is so Good” rides. I also felt at the end of the day that it is the best version so far of hArdennes Stage 6. Overall the same each year, but I always like to tweak things a bit if I can.

The day started off fresh with some nice low sunlight showing off some of the local landmarks, such as this Chateau de Fisenne. (above)

After some fun short wooded climbs (one with a little bit of gravel : the first of three sections on this stage) we head out across more open countryside (below) towards the dense forest area that most of the stage explores.

We will again stop in the middle of the woods for a very special lunch, hopefully sitting outside in the sun, like last year, before climbing 4kms alongside La Diglette stream, on a forest road that starts a bit rough (below) but once across the stream, is fine!

We spend most of the afternoon in glorious woodland, (below) with only a short section out again in the open landscape in the late afternoon.

I did have to include a 500m section of ruff-stuff (below) to get the route to work. It looks bad, I agree, but in fact I rode through it on 25mm’s without any problem at all. There is quite a lot of “proper” road too, don’t worry!!

This will be a stage to relax on, if possible, before the Big Finale of stages 7 & 8. With few VERY steep climbs, it works well for that. You may disagree on the day, though :)

Phil.