Auf Wiedersehen, Michael…..June 23, 2017, 1:01 pm
And so, after what feels like 5 mins, but at the same time 10 years of training, The Tour de Force is upon us. As I post this latest update, Michael is currently on the short flight to Dusseldorf, this year’s host city for the Grand Depart. Dusseldorf is great place, friendly locals, thousands of bars, thousands of local beers to sample, karaoke etc etc. Perfect way to ease yourself into 3 weeks cycling over 110 miles a day in the extreme temperatures (see photo above of the cyclists relaxing before the start)……..anyway, for those of you who aren’t interested in ale-tasting, I hear Suzie Wong is a very hospitable lady, housed in the red building a few straßes East of the Hauptbahnhof……
So what have I been up to in these critical final weeks of training?
I’m still the same weight I was three months ago
I’m not any faster than I was three months ago
I *think* I’ve got more stamina that I’ve ever had……..hard to tell in this heat though
My clothes are getting a bit slacker
My beer belly is still there
I *think* my legs are more muscular but it’s hard to tell through the winter coat (no, I don’t shave them and don’t plan to)
Hopefully, I’ve got sufficient reserves to get me round my three stages. Speaking of which…..
The organisers of the Tour de France, for some reason, do not release fully mapped and categorised routes of the stages until the completion of the week-long warm up event, the Criterium du Dauphine in early June. So this morbidly obese Dunstoner has been sitting contently, thinking that his stages will be “just like doing a hard sportive in the UK”. Yeah, he’s seen the stage profiles, yeah, he’s seen the length and gradients of the climbs. But until they get categorised, it doesn’t really hit home….
Sheepishly, I approached Neil’s desk to give him the good news:
“So Neil, you know when I said it’ll be fine in France……well on the first day we’ve got three category 1 climbs, the second day is 115 miles, sort of undulating and the final day is 115 miles with another two category 1 climbs”
To be honest though, now the time has come, I’m really looking forward to it. It is something to be embraced and enjoyed. We’ve done the training, we’ve got a reasonable level of fitness, hopefully we can get some great photos so everyone can see how amazing it all is.
The final sportive took place last weekend, the Virgin Cyclone 106 miler. An absolute scorcher of a day, brilliant weather. However, the headwind for three-quarters of the ride was both a nightmare and a life-saver. Without it, I would probably been best part of 45 minutes faster, although I might’ve melted into the tarmac before the finish line.
Another cheeky ride this weekend, maybe a run, keep doing my core exercises to refine those sculpted abs of mine, and before I know it, I’ll be lashing around the Pyrenees. The bike travels next Friday, I travel the Thursday after that.
Good luck to Michael and all the riders starting the ride this weekend!
The Quest to Become the Knightside Chris Froome continues……
- June 23, 2017, 1:01 pm
- Category: barry