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Peleton pacer: Keep on spinning, keep on spinning
It has started – we are 15 stages in! Check out up to date stage information on our web page: www.onedayahead.co.uk.
I don’t think anything can get you quite ready for the mountains, or the length of the days! I joined the team later as I couldn’t get the full time off work and was also participating in a sailing event in Devon for the first five days.
Having been flat out with work and training, going to Devon to sail every day and working took it out of me big time. By the time I caught the train to France my muscles were tired and I was mentally shattered – what a perfect time for a holiday…!
But, the days are 12 hours long if you’re lucky and the days spent helping the support vehicle means you have to do everything! Washing, refuelling the van, filling up the tanks and three sets of breaks for the boys as well as dinner, washing their bottles, making recovery juices then driving the transfer so that we are at the next start for the following stage.
But then there’s the days I am riding! First day it was 30 degrees, beautiful villages and it was literally beautiful ‘champagne riding’, a bit of a contrast to yesterday…
15 degrees, 35 mile headwinds and a seriously undulating route that included a cat 3 and a couple of cat 4s. By the first rest break at 70k I was done in, but got back on the bike to complete the 156k stage which was marred with bike mechanics and well, rain!
The boys are doing amazingly. They are so fit and healthy at the moment and in good spirits. Hats off to them!
There are three other groups doing the same thing from around the world. A group of American professional females, a Dutch group and a random international group but we are the only British group.
We see them everyday and have been helped by them as well as us helping them. One of the professional ladies got hit by a car and broke her tail bone, but luckily our boys were just passing them so they were on hand until the ambulance arrived.
When a bike got hit and bent the back wheel, the Dutch boys lent him a spare until he could get to our support vehicle. As well as that, the girls gave Gaby and I some supplies when we were running low and about to hit another cat 3 climb. Coca Cola and biscuits, score!
I’ve also learnt many bike handling skills which I will fill you in on my return!
Today is our rest day and I am very excited about watching the Tour come into Pau. Hopefully I will see Cav who is tipped to win this stage and Wiggins will maintain his yellow jersey.
For once we are in a campsite. I believe it’s the first time the boys have been to a campsite so we have showers (other than the camper showers) and wifi! Very strange getting a taste of normality!
Tomorrow is the Col de Tormelat stage which is one of the official etapes and an absolute beast. I will let you know how it goes, but for now I am off to grab a chocolate croissant, as personally I reckon I deserve it!
About Sadie’s blog
Cycling you say?! Alright then!
Join me as I embark on the challenge of cycling the Tour De France... one day ahead of the Peloton! Four months ago I’d never even sat on a road bike, now the aim is to complete the Col de Tourmalet and seven more mountainous stages.
‘What for?’ you may ask. It’s all in aid of helping my brothers and some of our best friends achieve their dream.
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