Stage 7: Belfort to Chalon-sur-Saône

Cycling summary

Breakfast: 06:30. Transfer: none. Start time: 08:05. Distance: 230km. Terrain: flat (2,600 metres climbing). Climbs: one Cat 3, two Cat 4. Finish: 19:29. Time in saddle: 9h16.

Suffer scores: John 6/10. Sharing with Daniel tonight. I know he’s back, but I’ve not seen him yet.

Local lowdown

A classic “transition” stage today, linking two bustling cities. We will pass through Ornans, which is the birthplace of Gustave Courbet in 1819 (happy 200th birthday Gustave!), a primary figure in the Realism movement. Babs and I are going on a painting weekend in August. She will be fine, being very artistic. I can barely do matchstick men! Temp: 36C. Drinks: 7.5 litres.

Tale from the Tour

Long, hot and uninteresting route today, but at least that’s the longest stage of the Tour out of the way. The best thing about today was the group riding between the seven of us that got us through.

So without much in the way of scenery or incident, this was a case of: Rotate rotate rotate. Feedstop 1. Rotate rotate rotate. Feedstop 2. Rotate rotate rotate. Feedstop 3. Rotate rotate rotate. Feedstop 4. Rotate rotate rotate. Beer!

Yes, it was as dull as that but there’s always one like this and now it’s done.

There were two highlights – two of the feedstops had fountains and water troughs where we could dunk our heads in to cool down!

Otherwise, the Coca Cola stop at some point in the afternoon really helped too.

On a more general point I have previously commented on negative reactions to us from some motorists. This is more than outweighed by positive reactions from many others. For example, the people waving to us and cheering us on from their doorsteps, the young boys holding their hands out for us to high-five them on our way past and the crocodile of primary school children in their high-viz vests (“gilets jaune”, but not the protester variety) all with big smiles on their faces and cheering us on.

Bill and Mrs Bill say “hi” too!

I think that mentally I am in a good place so although it was a hard day, it was one I was expecting. Had the weather been as poor as 2017, then no doubt my suffer score would have been higher. Wim said his score for yesterday was 9 to my 7. I still think there are harder days to come!

One thought on “Stage 7: Belfort to Chalon-sur-Saône”

  1. still early I guess but these stages must be immense efforts and your reward is another huge day tomorrow – if you are saying there are harder days to come then I don’t think you have to look too far … all the best to all on the tour!

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