The Tour de Force

The Tour de Force

Monday, 6 July 2015

Magic Bus! Stage 9: Vannes to Plumelec...Sunday 5th July 2015

What's that you say...a 10 hour transfer is on the menu for today? Well, in that case we can only have this incendiary performance of a Bo Diddley homage...did I ever tell you that I saw them play in the same place 36 years laterzzzzzz...

"Come on Keith!"

We had a slightly later departure from our hotel this morn, although it was still an hour transfer to Vannes for the 17 mile 'Team Time Trial' stage which would end at the top of the Cote de Cadoudal climb. We would then board the coach for the journey down to the other end of France and the inevitable shoeing about to doled-out by the Pyrenees...still one drama at a time, eh?

Cycling humour. We could do with some.
Looks innocuous, right? Wrong. Couple of leg-breakers in there. Ouch!
Andy and myself were of the opinion that we should just potter around this stage and use it as a recovery day of point in taking any risks on what were initially still damp roads, ok? I rolled out of Vannes ahead of the group mainly because I'm not dying about being in large bunch of cyclists...after a couple of lucky traffic light changes I was out of sight.

Our start for the 'Team Time Trial'.
I (apparently) was out of sight of the rest of the group and gave it the much as I can, anyway. I had brief delusions of stage grandeur until after four miles in, I heard Le Tracteur's shout of "We've got ya'!, and himself and Tim MVP passed by like a train. I could only latch on and pray. This was even worse than Friday, hah-hah!

We kept to be expecting to be swept up by the elite guys but in the event only 'Mentally-slow-cadence-but-crazy-fast' Chris made it, and was happy to help/destroy. Unlike me however: this pace was just too fast for me to take a turn at the front and on the lung-bursting drags it was excruciating: whatever happened to "let's take it easy"?

Not Photoshopped despite wot Mr Wickham will have you believe...
Well, that was that...just an arse-numbingly long coach journey enlivened by a couple of stops...
Trois Magnums. Chris, in the middle, is summink to do wiv their UK account. Although I still think he bill-posts.
The journey wasn't too shoddy, to be fair: a stop at what looked a dodgy faux-Wild West gaff ('Oncle Johns'?) was a master-stroke by TdF Sarah...great burger & chips & beer = happy punters.

Une pour le road.
We arrived at our hotel for a nigh-cap sans wi-fi. Le nightmare pour moi et riders various. Boo-hoo us, hah-hah! Still, we had a 'rest' day ahead of us. Yeay!

Listen, this isn't a cakewalk...nuts are being roasted so if you can spare a dime that is a boost...please have a gander at at THIS LINK...big thanks!

I do have a bit of previous...

2014: 1000 miles solo & unsupported out to France, then La Bicinglette...6 x Mont Ventoux in a day!

2013: 1000 miles solo & unsupported out to Austria, then the worst climbs in The Dolomites!

2012: The inaugural Haute Route sportive from Geneva to Nice, followed by the worst Pyrenean climbs!

2011: 3500 miles across North America...coast to coast!

2010: 1600 miles from Gibraltar to Blackpool!

2009: 1000 miles from Land's End to John O'Groats!

2008: 250 miles from Blackpool to London!

2007: 100 miles around Manchester!

2006: 0.5 mile to corner shop!