Le Loop 2018 - Stage 18...Barry's view
So, I said I wasn’t going to do a blog about today:
It’ll be boring
There’s nowt to see
I’ve done the mountains anyway
But it’s not all about the glory of the GC stages......
First thing is.....there’s no such thing as flat. It does not exist. 105 miles today. And the garmin reckons 1596m climbed. That’s nearly HALF of the previous two days, and we were in the actual mountains then.
Mentally, I had done my bit, it was the mountains I was here for. A 5.15am start, an hours transfer to the start, I just wasn’t feeling it. Genuinely wanted to step off the bike at points in the first 50 odd miles.
But.....today was about teamwork & group riding. Cycling alone, in that heat, people would get into bother. So up stepped Lee, Chris (who were doing the same stages as me), Pete and Kier (who were adding tomorrow’s beast on as well). They welcomed me into their group like I known them for years; after I was dropped on the first Cat 4 after 30 miles, Pete waited and rode me back onto the group. At the time I was thankful, but given how tough the day panned out, I’ll be eternally grateful. We all took our turns as the headwind and heat almost blasted us into submission for knocking on 8 hours. We’ll share a few beers tonight! Merci guys.
And this experience gave me a much greater appreciation for the lifers (Michael included!!), the pros, anyone who takes on the challenge really. No day is easy, not every day is spectacular mountains, everyone has to work as a team to help each other out. There’s an enhanced sense of inclusion this year for me.
Nothing much else to report from the stage, so all it’s left to do is thank all the Le Loop staff once again for their brilliant organisation, and wish everyone who’s doing tomorrow the best of luck. Stay safe.
That’s 3 times I’ve been out to do stages of the Tour de France. I’m a very privileged person. And as I always say, if a fat lad from Dunston can cycle to the highest point in this year’s Tour de France, anyone can do anything. Get up, get out, do something!
I’m not sure whether the bike will be visiting France again......maybe it’s time to take up golf.....well, THIS bike might not be visiting again.....