Tuesday 2 July 2013

Stage 10 - St Gildas des Bois to St Malo

The tour felt different today.  After a day off and a night at a very plush Chateaux, we had recovered from the hardships of the Pyrenees and felt ready to face the next week.  The focus of this stage and the next 4 is to get to base of Mont Ventoux on Sunday afternoon in a good enough condition to get up it without problem.

Today we split in about 5 groups and spent the day working together.  This was sometimes 2 abreast with the leader dropping back after a couple of minutes; on the busier roads we went single file, with a minute at the front and when it was safe we did 'through-and-off', riding in 2 columns with the fast column moving up one side to the front, then slowing and drifting back past until you join the back of the fast column again.  We got it working very well, keeping quite a speed without significant effort - but it requires concentration and clear roads, so 15 minutes max.

The banter in our group, 'Group 4', was fast and fun - although it diminished as the miles rolled by and everybody wanted to get to St Malo.  Overtaking the fast group with 15 miles to go was a mistake - they blew our group apart on the climb through the village of Concale and I was left out the back to do the last miles into the wind on my own.  However, 115 miles with 5800feet of ascent at 19mph (including villages etc - excluding stops) is fairly good for me.

The day finished with a dip in the channel - looking a bit grey and overcast compared to Nice, where the pros are today.

Strava link here