Arrived in Ornans, France after a long (even by N. American standards?) drive from not-France.
Spent a couple days checking out different parts of the course. The biggest climbs don't gain more than 300m at a time, but they tend to include one or all of:
- Steep, muddy, rutted trail
- Barbed wire (deters one from cutting the course)
- 30% grades covered in golf-ball-sized rocklets
- Cow pies with chewy centers (This is what the warning is for in the preceding pic)
Ran into (not literally, but close, as some descents are slip-and-slides) the sole American in this year's race. Rode the first 40km together and stopped to take in the beauty of these scenic vistas. How romantic. Also rode alone on the following day in a drizzley mess. Less romantic.