Cycling up the Big Hill

What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Facing demons over the last 6km of the climb from Chalet Reynard. Everyone was saying to me - once you get to the Chalet you know you have got this but for me that is where the battle started.

What did you think of your group leader?

Thierry was great: knowledgeable, funny and understanding. He really loves what he does.

Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Layers, layers, layers. Leg warmers and arm warmers are god-sent. The descents are fast and freezing. if your shoes have a lot of mesh, bring the toe covers or whole shoe covers. Big winter gloves, full gloves but not too thick and mittens. Energy drinks and gels - make sure you have some.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

In our group we had some really savvy riders who think nothing of 1,000 miles per month, or 500m in a week but then there was me who only rides outside a few times a year - mainly with Exodus holidays. I do get training indoors though as a spin instructor and it was a great help. The climb itself is extremely challenging mentally and I had a few emotional moment as it is relentless.