Stage 20: Marseille

Cycling summary

Breakfast: 06:30. Transfer: 1h00. Start time: 08:40. Distance: 22.5km time trial. Terrain: beside the seaside (200 metres climbing). Climbs: one bump. Finish: 10:40. Time in saddle: 1h20.

Cafe stops: 2 (including one at the train station). Photo stops: several.

Suffer scores: Really? This was the recovery ride to end all recovery rides.

Local lowdown

You need to spend a long time in Marseille to experience all that this city has to offer, with its ancient monuments, various sporting activities (2017 European Capital of Sport don’t you know) and interesting cuisine (sheep tripe anyone?). However, we are in the area for precisely 200km less than yesterday’s ride (in terms of official distance) before being whisked away to Paris on the TGV. We will see the Orange Velodrome though, where today’s stage starts and finishes.

No caption needed!

Tale from the Tour

What a fantastic ride and a great way to lift the spirits! As much as the Düsseldorf time trial was a chore, so this was an absolute delight. Early morning in Marseille     meant that the traffic was light so even though we stopped at some red lights, these were photo opportunities!

It wasn’t too long before we had a coffee stop and were able to admire the view too.

Notre Dame de something or other overlooking the city

After coffee, croissant and orange juice at a café on the marina, we headed up to Notre Dame de something or other and frankly marvelled at the fact that this route is a time trial. It’s  going to be a tough route and quite technical on the descent too. Look out for some fun and games on this one next week when the Tour comes through.

Not a categorised climb, but the gradient hit 20% once we took a sharp right towards the top


Great views of the Med too. Apparently the Tour has to visit the coast at least once in any year. Although I can’t confirm this, I was so glad it did.

With Nobby. Not just a Bath RFC supporter but father of Max who plays at centre for them.

Once the ride was done, we headed off to the train station. As I write, I am on the TGV to Paris. We have the whole carriage to ourselves and it is very noisy (at least in our section!). Is it euphoria, hysteria or the two large glasses of Affligem? Plus several bottles of wine!

We have nearly finished, but one of our main concerns is that we are all actually trapped in “Cycleworld” and that on Monday morning we will find that we have been reset and are back in Düsseldorf.  Noooooo!

Nine blue cyclists, sitting on a wall (splosh)


Paris tomorrow. Should be some more fun and games!

One thought on “Stage 20: Marseille”

  1. Great Blog John,
    Makes me wish I had signed for a second tour
    Really pleased for you that you managed to find the time to do the whole thing this time around.
    Enjoy Paris!
    All The Best Steve (Mr Grumpy)


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