Today was all about getting through the day and conserving as much energy as possible for the demanding next 2 stages in the Alps. Stages that stand between me completing the Tour de France. Following stages are difficult (one in length) but by reputation alone the Alps will prove a huge challeng.The rest day was gratefully received and a bit to early start, 8am we rolled out of the lovely Le Puy en Velay in glorious sunshine., within 20 minutes the weather changed again and we were caught in another torrential downpour, a permanent feature of this years tour.
A couple of catergorised climbs in the first half of the ride didn’t cause too many issues as we nipped along at a fair pace.
The reward for the morning part of the ride was a very long descent on wide open roads and great tarmac and we are into the miles through the Ardeche area of France.
The final 50km ran alongside the Rhone and in the distance the group could see what was ahead in the distance, the Alps… the do look huge …totally different, obviously, to my skiing experiences when the snow capped mountains are replaced by lush greenery, I may not feel the same about their beauty over the few days.
Group riding got us to the finish all in tact and fairly generally fresh, amazing to think that riding over 100 miles in day is now part of the recovery process….
16 stages complete … dare not look to far ahead, but a sense of achievement to be this far …. the next days will no doubt shape the outcome.