Parked on the side of a foggy road, 3 friends get ready for a day of riding. Biathlete Chloé Chevalier is joined by cross-country skier Clément Arnault, and world cup technician Loïc Guigonnet. The morning is cold, with the temperature just under 50°. Clustered around the map, the friends start by examining the route. The day’s objective is to start in the Royan region and then ascend Col de la Machine via the Combe Laval route in the Vercors massif.
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Helmets on, it’s time to clip in and begin the journey. Chloé and Clément lead the pace while Loïc warms his legs. The miles drop behind them. The cyclists are one with the road and the curve of the turns. Those in the front wait for the others behind; keeping an eye on each other is what team spirit is all about.
A quick stop to enjoy the view. They’ve gone a long way, but they’re not there yet. Just 24 km to go. Everybody exchanges words of encouragement before setting off again.
They start on the route to Combe Laval and the weather turns fair. The end of the ride is more challenging as the grades steepen and the north wind starts to rise. But it’s all worth it for the panoramic views and the lifelong memories. One last ascent, and just a bit more pedaling because the end is near.
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The friends’ tummies are beginning to rumble. The hotel/restaurant at Col de la Machine is happy to welcome the cyclists. It’s finally time to rest while talking about the climb and the thrills. All agree that it was a good route. They’ve barely got the energy to lift a glass, but it was worth it! And in the end, that’s what really makes it so special, the continuing friendship between them all.
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