It was billed as the toughest day yet and as the thunder claps and the rain starts to fall over The Best Western Hotel just outside Lyon at 7pm (11 hours after we started) we certainly weren’t disappointed. The riders are arriving, picking up their luggage and heading for the showers. The delight of getting another day under the belt is well hidden behind very tired eyes.
The illnesses, knocks and bruises are mounting up but with such a physically demanding undertaking I guess these can be expected.
The day by the numbers
- 191 kilometers cycled (202 by some counts)
- 1,879 meters climbed
- 6 categorized climbs
- Our first col (Col des Echarmeaux) was 20km long with gradients of over 7%
Below is a video recorded 15mins ago at 7:30. No editing, no catchy music just a real snapshot of life on the ride.
Even in my second year of the London to Monte Carlo ride I still don’t trust the route guides. What on first glance would appear to be a gentle run in with a lovely down slope invariably becomes the mother of all climbs. Having said that tomorrow is meant to be one of the easiest of the 9 days as we descend the from Lyon towards Bollene.
Bollene is our staging ground for the assault on Mont Ventoux and a “rest” day is in the offing. How on earth a rest day can consist of cycling 184 kilometers I don’t know but that is what tomorrow has in store for us.