The Tour de Force

The Tour de Force

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Worn on the Fourth Of July...Stage 8: Rennes to Mur de Bretagne...Saturday 4th July 2015

Wishing all ex-colonial types a very happy Independence country, top people. Cheers!

If you've never heard this version of 'Born In The USA' then you're in for a treat. Really.

Just for a change the alarm sounded at 5.15am this morning and we stumbled onto the coach eventually for the hour-long transfer to today's start in Rennes. The forecast was for blustery headwinds for the duration: surprisingly there were no complaints from me as we had been given a little help during yesterday's insanity.

Again, let's just go direct!
Let me guess...rolling?
After about 1 mile I happened upon some road rage a la Francais in action...scooterist looked to be on the receiving end of some sturdy verbals!
"Sacre bleu you cretin!" etc...
Memo to self: don't pick such a long drag to park yourself on photo detail. This pair took a while...
Although fair play to Nick for his Tommy Voeckler impression. Equally he may really just have been bollocksed by that climb! Tim is with him. Looking very restrained. Do not be fooled, people!
Dans this area of Brittany, Bernie Hinault is a god.

We were a bit curious (read: worried) as to what effect yesterday would have on our legs...Andy was happy to have me lead for a bit. Dear Lord, he must have been struggling, hah-hah! It was an honour to serve, the event we ended-up joining on to the fast guys for a spell. The only notable thing from this was a dose of pain and a selfie. Not all bad, then.

Check-out TLR leading Le Tour. Collector's item.
After the lunch-stop we hooked-up with Tim MVP again to work with each other against the rolling terrain and the breeze, which worked really well. The terrain reminded me of cycling through Missouri...roller after roller after roller...rinse and repeat. Ouch for all!

Pretending to apply beans of medium quantity: wardrobe to celebrate Colonials' Day!
To commemorate the US Forces liberating the area.
My kinda garage!
The Tour de France organisers have decided to end this stage with a run up the Mur de Bretagne climb: a very horrible-looking b-road with gradients between 5-15% for about 3/4 mile. It's just a grind after all...but I will be keen to see how our pro brethren storm up it after 115 miles. The smart money is on 'very fast indeed'!

The only other point to note is a change to our post-stage rehydration...

The tonic water is good for preventing cramping (so Johnny reckons and I won't argue) while the cup contains the local cider. Traditional way of serving it/they'd run-out of glasses. One cup was fine, thanks.
Today's stage was for Jonesy, who had a nasty bike accident this week. Wishing you the fullest and speediest recovery, mate...appreciate your support as ever.

And as ever, if you can spare a dime...please GO HERE!

1 comment:

  1. Cheers Simon. Sent you an update about Jonesy. Have a pint or two for him - beer and bikes off the menu for a while. Paint It Black much appreciated by me and the mini Jonesys. Bluebell


I do have a bit of previous...

2014: 1000 miles solo & unsupported out to France, then La Bicinglette...6 x Mont Ventoux in a day!

2013: 1000 miles solo & unsupported out to Austria, then the worst climbs in The Dolomites!

2012: The inaugural Haute Route sportive from Geneva to Nice, followed by the worst Pyrenean climbs!

2011: 3500 miles across North America...coast to coast!

2010: 1600 miles from Gibraltar to Blackpool!

2009: 1000 miles from Land's End to John O'Groats!

2008: 250 miles from Blackpool to London!

2007: 100 miles around Manchester!

2006: 0.5 mile to corner shop!