Stages 7,8 and 9: The lows and the highs of doing the Tour

July 3, 2017, 8:26 am

The word on the street is that we have in the last nine days done half (distance wise of the whole Tour).

So then Pro prediction:

7 bunch sprint

1 GC day

1 Tour winner

 

The last three days have seen (stages 7 and 8) some of the most brutal weather imaginable with a rolling stage into St Nuits run off into a brutal headwind with torrential rain but with an underlying warmth that made the whole day manageable; my day had been impacted by a puncture at the first feedstop discovered as I came to leave leaving me with that sense of chasing on into the wind; pedalling like fury on the downhills but day done.

 

The following morning saw an early transfer to Dole; we knew the weather wasn’t going to be good but in broad terms at feedstop 1 I added two more layers at feedstop 3 I changed clothes and ending up with 7 layers; the combination of wind and rain and cold saw a number of riders in severe difficulties. As a route and on the right day; pure Tour magic and potentially stunningly beautiful… but just difficult.. I found gaining braking adhesion on the technical descents increasingly difficult and slightly troubling… it is a known fact I like going downhill… final descent of day saw me roll into the final feedstop with a barely inflated front tyre…. resulting in new inner tube and tyre with glass embedded in the tyre; three punctures and two tyres in seven days. The final Cat 1 was uneventful…..

 

Stage 9 another early transfer into wet and murky cold conditions; early climb followed by a technical and sketchy descent….. long and short of it… a loss of confidence and at first feedstop… decision taken ( which has left me feeling v flat) to miss the descents off the Biche and Grand Columbiere)…. I know it was the right decision mentally, having completed every km in 2015… to miss two of the top climbs of the Tour is gutting…. lots of lessons to be learnt… Mont du Chat is a tough climb…. sadly I can’t say about the others…. anyway Tour goes on and I am typing this on the coach as we transfer across the width of France….

  • July 3, 2017, 8:26 am
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  • Category: michael
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  • Tags:
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On the 24th June 2017, the Tour de Force riders will start cycling from Dusseldorf. Whether cycling two or more days, this is a heroic undertaking. It will hurt!

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