This day would prove to be one of our toughest with two major climbs; Col de Rousset and the Col de Menee. We continued our ride through the Vercor region wtih it's stunning rock cliffs. The first climb Col de Rousset was more gradual than many of the other climbs we had done and we finally got our climbing "rythum" down making the ascent seem almost easy for once. At the top we were treated to one of the grandest descents of the trip.
A long winding 2800 foot descent was a gas and put us on the northern edge of Provence as we observed the beautiful lavender fields. The temperature climbed at least 10 degrees on the way down putting temps in the low 90's....summer was here in Southern France. We had a typical Williams lunch in the town of Die...check out the local produce on these salads; a nicoisce and chevre (goat)...Yummm!
Thinking all would be easy after lunch it seemed like we climbed the remainder of the afternoon amidst a background of thunder and about 10 minutes of refreshing rain showers before eclipsing the summit of the Col de Menee. The descent to Chichilianne was fast and easy and with the thunder clouds above and the famous Mt. Aiguille in the distance, all quite dramatic. All in all a 70 mile + day with 6,000 feet of vertical climbing!