Day 2 (Stage 14): Blagnac – Rodez

July 8, 2017, 7:10 pm

A tale of two halves!

I think we were spoilt by the scenery yesterday in the Pyrenees as today was much more reserved. I’m sure it was lovely but staring down the barrel of 181km, there wasn’t much time to take in the sights.

An 8am roll out from the hotel, Neil and I managed to get on the back of a little train of lifers, and we nailed through a pretty uneventful first 80km to the second feed station. Having not really rode in large groups before (I’m a mountain goat…) I definitely felt the benefit of drafting. Flying along, nice bit of chat with fellow riders, energy conserved for the second half.

Man flu still showing its teeth, I really struggled between feeds two and three, undulating terrain, energy sapping heat, having Neil for company was a godsend. The man is in his late 50s and was absolutely beasting it! He took the lions share of the lead and danced up the climbs.

Between feeds three and four, we tackled the only categorised climbs of the day, cat 3s, both just under 3km long, 7% gradients. Manageable but with well over 100km in the legs, hard enough.

The final blast to the hotel after feed four took into another uncategorised climb, I reckon was about 4km long and between 4-5% gradient. I was wondering why it wasn’t categorised but the pros will probably lash up in 5 mins or something. I took nearer 20….

In many ways, a really tough day, struggled at times, mental strength needed to keep the faith for future energy bursts. Mostly enjoyable though.

Tomorrow promises a mixture of the first two days, cat 1 climbs and 190km. It’s gonna be tough.

The Quest to Become The Knightside Chris Froome continues….

  • July 8, 2017, 7:10 pm
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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!