As it was the only one starting directly in Gap, I decided to do the 42km Parcours du Gapençais which would lead me over two major passes, one of them having been ridden by the Tour de France pros just a few days ago.
From downtown Gap the ride starts by following the main road towards the Col de Manse. The road, leading to Grenoble, is fairly busy, but a good shoulder exists and drivers in general are very curteous. Whereras the main road continues north, the bike route turns east towards the Col. It was great fun to do the same route as the pros and seeing all the fan stencils scattered over the road.
After the obligatory pass sign selfie, I continued on an increasingly narrow road back towards the valley. Whereas to the Col de Manse I had gone in the same direction as the Tour during stage 16, the downhill towards the village of La Bâtie-Neuve ran opposite to the route of stage 18. I slightly regretted going downhill on this part, as the road was really beautiful and I wouldn't have minded taking some pictures.
|Looking up from the Col de Manse|
|Looking back towards Gap (better viewed large)|
|Great view back into the valley|
|Red face, red eyes|
|Notre-Dame du Laus|
|Col du Tourrond|
|Perfect roads for cycling|