I somehow lost my preloaded page, so no local geography lesson today.
Start 08:00. Transfer 1h00. Terrain – mountains (approx 4,000 metres climbing – Garmin playing up). Climbs one cat 3 one cat 2 one cat 1. Finish time 19:50. Time in saddle 9h30.
Suffer scores: John 6/10, Alex 5.5/10.
Despite heavy rain most of the day and light rain for most of the rest, I enjoyed today and found that being back in the mountains lifted my morale after a couple of monotonous days.
Between feed stops 2 and 3 I was looking back on my experience on the Tourmalet in 2015 and knew that I had been higher, wetter and colder than I was today. That gave me encouragement and I was feeling ok though my teeth were chattering. At the feed stop, I was ushered into the van to eat my lunch while wrapped in a foil blanket which helped me get warm again. I also had some dry clothes to put on, which helped. I kept the blanket under my jersey for the rest of the day too!
At breakfast we realised that we are now becoming delirious at times and odd things are happening. Andrew came to the table with an eclectic mix of food items and ended up with a gingerbread and cheese sandwich! Still ate it though – need the fuel.
Later on, I was trying to say something to Andrew, using all the right words but in the wrong order (a la Eric Morecombe on the piano!). “What’s that your trying to say mate? Sounds like gibberish.”
After lunch it was a bit warmer, a little less wet but much more picturesque. I was taking it easy, knowing that we have the toughest day of the Tour tomorrow (Galibier stage will run it close). I was also taking photos and knew I would end up getting in quite late as a result, but I am here to appreciate France too, in those parts of the country which allow us to do so!
Lots of wet kit today but the hotel staff spent the night tumble drying it which was good of them. In fact they opened the hotel a week earlier than planned, specifically for us. This was very much appreciated, not least because the hotel was on the finish line itself, the alternative being 14km further on.
Alex and I both enjoyed the ride and my suffer score is higher than his on account of me getting so cold. I should have worn my full winter jacket, which I will do tomorrow for the start at least. Forecast is for the weather to improve during the day. We shall see!