Le Loop 2018 - Stage 14: Saint Paul Trois Chateaux- Mende

I think if you told everyone there was a 40km climb in the middle of the day there would have been consternation! There was....

The Ardeche gorges followed by the dept. of Loziere was stunningly beautiful in a completely different way to the Alps; the climbing on this Tour has been tough and today was no different but never has it been so green; the tree cove rand damp in the atmosphere acting as a foil to the heat. The gradients felt more consistent ( obviously with the exception being the final climb up to the aerodrome at Mende).

Le Tour is tourist advertising at it’s best, you see places and occasional glimpses of wildlife that somehow sear themselves onto the retina and forever live in the memory; you want to stay there in that moment and for all the anguish you are going through you enjoy those moments.

Mende was funny, same strange hotel, bizarre restaurant and grumpy staff, it was Bastille day and the fireworks lulled me to sleep- strangely comforting.

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