Stage 8: Castres to Ax 3 Domaines

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Hindsight is 20/20 as they say. Going into today, I thought that the fireworks at the finish would be more exciting than whatever happened on the HC Col de Pailhères. But I was wrong, the Col de Pailhères is gorgeous with sparse tree coverage leading to fantastic views and lots of fans. The finish was at a lower altitude and was thickly tree lined. I also got stuck behind the Publicity Caravan, so Instead of arriving at the top with 90-120min to spare like I had intended, I got there with about 20.

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What you’re seeing here is the flatbed tow truck that follows the publicity caravan incase of a breakdown. So on my way up to the finish I passed a lot of great fans along Ax 3 Domaines, too bad I only got a chance to see them on the way up.

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By the time I got parked and found my way back to the course, I only had time to be within the last KM and all I got to see was the aftermath of the fireworks. But, it’s not all a bummer, afterwards I drove to the Stage 9 start, and along the way drove over Col de Port… and the D618 that winds through these hills is absolutely amazing, it was fun to drive in a car but would be fantastic on a motorcycle.

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Verdict: the French Pyrenees are amazingly beautiful, get here.