Wednesday 26 June 2013

Stage 5 - Nice to Marseilles

Another great day - with lots of miles and lots of food.  At 230Km (143 miles) with 4 categorised climbs, it's taken everybody longer to finish than previous days - and I've got to rush this before dinner at 8:00pm.

The climb out of Nice was a bit trafficy, but after the 1st feed stop, things eased out beautiful countryside.  I should perhaps explain that there are normally 4 feed stops spread across the day evenly:
Stop 1 - basically 2nd breakfast, buns and banana, dried fruit
stop 2 - sandwichs and salted snacks
Stop 3  - lunch copius pasta/coucous or other carb
Stop 4 - coke and sugar fix to get home
Today however was different since we were riding with a local club from Fourges and the route passed through their town, feed stop was postponed to about 110km but upgraded to 'feast' status!  The space outside the town hall was cleared for us, the mayor said a little speech, a photographer took our pcture for the local paper and we all agreed that it was magnifique!  The food was certainly excellent, and I didn't really do justice to the food at the next stop.
I cycled alone for most of the afternoon - I can't find anybody who goes the same speed as me on tghe flat, and then slows down as much as me on the hills.  Just before the last stop, I had the 1st 'bonk' of the tour, when my speed declined almost instantaneously as I ran out of energy.  A gel got me to the food where 1/2 litre of coke fuelled me to the end.  The scenery is spectacular with lots of riding through fragrant forest underneath rugged cliffs.  The final descent into Marseilles was superfast with superb views of the city and sea.

Marseilles is, however, one of France's least attrative cities - but the room is comfy once I changed from a double to a twin.  Donald, with whom I'm sharing tonight is a nice guy - but he's bigger than me, and having us both in one bed wasn't going to work!

Strava link here