Breakfast: 07:00. Transfer: None. Start time: 08:00. Distance: 213.5km. Terrain: flat, with a bit of work to do in the middle (1,820 metres). Climbs: one Cat 4. Finish: 19:30. Time in saddle: 9h40.
Suffer scores: John 9/10, Alex “put what you like John, I don’t care any more”. So that’s a 9/10 as well!
Having headed north to Troyes, we are now heading back south to Nuits-Saint-Georges which is probably the most prestigious of the Burgundy wines if you like that sort of thing. Which I do. Hic. Other vintages are available.
Tale from the tour
Last night Martyn and Dequane arrived to ride today’s stage. They are from the Westminster House Youth Club, a charity supported by the money we raise from the cycling. Since I have visited there a few times, I had been asked to act as link cyclist which involved going for a ride with them beforehand and being a friendly face on their arrival on tour. At dinner they each spoke about the club and their involvement in it and were warmly welcomed by others who then formed a queue to speak to them which they appreciated.
I rode with them for the first 45km to feed stop one, with other riders coming along for a chat too. Then our lead cyclist Gareth rode with Dequane while I continued with Martyn to the second stop. Unfortunately we had filthy weather today, but Dequane still rode 100km out of 224km (we often have to ride more than the official Tour distances for logistical reasons) while Martyn completed the whole stage. That was a massive achievement by both of them and rightly recognised as such at dinner.
You may think that the stage was easy because it was flat and just one climb. Well yes, but there are any amount of undulations and with the weather as it was I was certainly cursing the wind by the end. OK, so the wind was in our favour for the last few km but after two days of this plus what we had on Stage 2, I’ve had quite enough of that particular test now. I would rather be battling against gravity than fighting against a headwind (but careful what I wish for I guess). With the distance too (now a cumulative 1,300 km or so I think – too tired to check) that made for one tough ride.
I have decided that if ever I spend a day moving from Champagne to Gevrey-Chambertin to Nuits-Saint-George again, it will be in the form of moving from a bottle to a glass, not on a bike. And the weather can do whatever it likes outside!
The scenery has been nice enough but starting to get a bit monotonous now. We will get to the mountains tomorrow and I am looking forward to that, albeit that the Schleckometer has ticked up a notch or to!
Thanks for the feedback I have had so far and sorry that time makes it impossible to respond individually. One such is that my son Tom has suggested that the Tour de Force should be renamed the Antiques Roadshow! Cheeky so-and-so, but he is his father’s son alright!
It’s the weather and cumulative effect that counts for the uptick in the suffer scores today. Plus we ended up in smaller groups so that made it harder. That and the fact that we are currently surrounded by wet kit that has no hope of drying out overnight.