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Tour du Mont Blanc: Voie Toller- Italy

10:30- 6 hours riding- Val Ferret, Val d'Aoste, Italy

This was our first off-road descent of the day and we both knew it was steep to begin with so took it easy.  Jo with his slicks, and me with Euro brakes (front and back on the wrong side of handlebars) we rode a reasonable amount, hopped some drainage channels, and shouldered our bikes down the rocky steps.
Jo near the top
We came out of the mist around the Elena Refuge and we joined the firetrack down.  Big wheels, tyres and suspension allowed me to open it up a bit, however Jo took it cautiously with his rigid forks.  In no time at all we were zooming down the road towards Courmayeur and FOOD!
Pimped Piaggio!

11:30- Supermarcato, Courmayeur


With our bikes lent up outside we bought cans of drink, crisps, chocolate, cheese, sliced meat, bread rolls, focaccia and a giant slice of watermellon. €15 each and much to the dismay of the supermarket workers we stuffed our faces:
Re-fueling time 
Jo and his watermellon

12:05- Ascent of Val Veny, Italy 

As we left Courmayeur we were now committed to getting to Chamonix.  Courmayeur had been a potential pickup point for my girlfriend if we'd been suffering.  The weather was good.  We'd eaten a whole load of food, drank several cans of fizzy drink and we wanted to get back to France.

Almost straight away your into a horrendous road climb that heads over the motorway and up into the Val Veny. We were passed by a whole collection of Italian characters that kept us amused, chavs wheel spinning, greasy city types going very slowy in their Merc and a big black 4x4 Merc that nearly stalled turning in the road whilst following their ginger, lycra clad Son riding his mountain bike up the road.

The road came to an end and the inevitable pushing began, not for too long as we hit the stunning Roman road section.
Me nearing the Roman Road 13:40 
Roman Road 13:40 
Toilets left over from the UTMB
Jo with the Roman road behind him
More snack stops and we were onto the final push up to the Col de le Seigne.

Water stop
Me stretching out
We had a quick look inside the Exhibition hut near the Col and Jo was amazed how far round we were, it looked like we were over 3/4 of the way. Just the Bonhomme left, easy?

We also amazed some French Walkers with our exploits, and when we said we were heading for Chamonix, at 15:00 in the afternoon, they asked many times, "Aujourd' hui?"
"oui oui!" we responded.

15:20 Col de la Seigne (2516m), French/Italian boarder- 12 hours riding/walking
3 hours and 20mins of climbing and we'd made it to the Col.  It was with great relief that we headed down the best descent of the day.  If not the best descent of the whole TMB...

bye bye Italy



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