What it sez on the tin, really! Today's Hollywood moment of the 100-odd miles from Antwerp to Huy was climbing up the Mur de Huy, which translated from Belgique means 'The Wall Of Huy'...I cannot wait to see the pros beast themselves up it in a week's time!
Gerry Scarfe's work at large.
Today gave an insight into the tedious blah that the pros go through on Le Tour: we were up at 0530hrs (after a ropey kip) and onto a coach for 0630hrs to transfer to the start in Antwerp. Not ideal, but that's what happens. Sometimes it's fair to say that the bike riding is the easy bit, hah-hah!
|"Men, we are here...Jerry is here...the bridges are here and here..."|
|Saving the best until last!|
The more pleasing aspects of today were riding in a small bunch and sharing turns at the front (no really) and seeing some terrific countryside under regulation blue skies. Just a great day even if me and the two guys (take a bow George & Pete B.) that I was cycling for a chunk of the day did miss lunch due to not seeing an arrow...no dramas though! This was a 'top ten' day at times...let's have some more!
|Almost a Le Mans style start. Almost.|
|I've already forgotten where this was but it's a gem!|
|Sensational riding at times...savour this, my son!|
|Always one big lump photobombing, hah-hah!|
|This is the worst bit of the last climb at 26%. Bad news for lardies...ouch!|
|Cheers Peter for this one. Bloody cafe was closed at the top. Still, their (considerable) loss...|
What really was fun about this end to the stage was that Matt clapped me up the final yards and generally acted the goat: it always takes too long for folks to let their guards drop but this bloke was ahead of the game. At the summit there was a cafe but unfortunately it was ferme: the owner missed out on more than a few Euros...
We descended to the final horrible 26% corner to showboat for photos of each other- Matt very nearly overshot the corner which takes some doing...he had us crying and helpless, hah-hah! After a bit of a wait we then boarded the coach to that night's acco and a trip to the adjacent pizza place and a couple of ales...
|Back on the Duvel: the hotel didn't have a bar per se, so improvisation was called for. A legit recovery drink in the background...but not quite as appealing!|
|A collector's item: me on a Strava Leaderboard from a stretch of today's route. Short term arrangement, natch!|
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Tomorrow is the longest mileage of Le Tour at 140 miles: the highlight (of sorts) is that the last 20 miles will be over cobbles, pretty much. The blog might take a while...where's that ice pack?