When I got home last night and crashed on the couch, there was an interesting show on HD Theatre (Discovery Channel HD).  Chronicled the story of two guys who won a contest in 2007 to ride a stage of the Tour (actually, about half of it).  (Offered as the L’Etape package from Trek Travel).  The got outfitted with brand new Madone bokes, full Discovery team kit, and “behind the ropes” access at the Tour.  They got to ride the route for what was stage 16 of that year’s Tour – over the Col ‘dPierre-St-Martin (Cat 1), Col d’Marie-Blanc (Cat 1), and finishing on the Col d’Aubisque (HC).  (Click here for the route – click on “Profile of the Stage”)  One of them dropped after the Marie-Blanc, but the other finished on the Aubisque.  His time – 7 hours and change. 

But watching it made me want to do something like that for a vacation in the upcoming years.  Despite the pain, it looks like fun.