This from The Guardian:

Peter Kimpton explores cyclists’ goals and experiences on the extremes of Haute Route in the Pyrenees

She crossed the line. Then, in a brief epiphany between two complete strangers, we hugged for a few seconds and both wept. Day upon day of mountain stages, several with nearly 4,000 metres of vertical ascent, this one with four major climbs, two of them first class category, can do strange things to a person.

Source: Haute Route highs and heartbreak – what motivates cyclists on tough rides? | Environment | The Guardian