Stage 6: Ulvik – Geilo

29.07.2010, Ulvik-Geilo (127.1 Km1815 m)

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[Pictures] What was meant to be a recovery trip before the final stage tomorrow, revealed itself as a very hard stage mainly because of the harsh wind on the Hardangersvidda plateau. The touring class started in few groups from Ulvik to catch the 8:35 the ferry at Bruravik. The scenery on the fjord was really gorgeous, with the morning mist surrounding the mountains and sunlit glaciers above. The group passed Eidfjord without stopping at the feeding station (not yet set up, apparently) and broke apart only at the beginning of the ascent. Very soon I found myself alone, with a faster group ahead climbing swiftly to the top and slower riders behind me, so I decided to put on some music and continued climbing at my speed. After the first few kilometers I caught up with Christa and we continued to climb together on the main road, even if we had to pass some tunnels that were nominally forbidden for cyclists. None of us had see any of the signs which were meant to lead us on the old road (as Roman told me afterwards they hadn’t enough time to place them). After a short stop to gaze at the spectacular waterfall of Voringsfossen we started again, the road becoming less steep and allowing a good pace. Reaching the top of Hardangersvidda meant for me not only arriving at the feeding station, but also conquering my B.I.G. #39, the only one on the route of this Viking Tour which otherwise seemed to have purportedly avoided the nearby climbs on the B.I.G. list (Aurlandsvegen, Sognefjell Hytta, Stalheimkleiva, just to name  few). We decided for a longer stop and had a coffee on the top, before preparing for what I believed to be a steady relaxing descent towards Geilo. Sadly, the reality was a little bit different and we had to fight for more than 40 Km with a strong wind on an endless series of wavy hills. Of course, since chivalry isn’t dead I took the lead most of the time trying to shield my cycling mate from the wind. At the end chivalry was still alive, but my legs were not! Fortunately, another group of the touring class caught us up as the real descent to Geilo finally began, allowing me to recover just that little bit of energy which was necessary to dare the last climb to the timing line. Of course this was optional for the touring class and many went directly to the Valhalla, but after that endeavour I think I may ask to be promoted from the touring to the stupid class! Small footnote: the bath towel I’ve forgotten in Gaupne reappeared this evening in Geilo…

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"Non son chi fui, perì di noi gran parte..."
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