Stage 15

Stage 15, 187km Mende – Valence  

A rolling stage through the Ardeche hills. The group was quieter today with Lance heading back home. The media motorbikes and cars left us alone as we rolled out and focussed on the job in hand. 9km in we had our first grovel on a 3rd category climb with stiff legs that took us up to a plateau of 1000m. We remained at this altitude and climbed two further 4th climbs up to 1300m before descending down after 75km on an amazing fun and not too technical 20km descent with stunning views, if you dared to take your eyes off the next corner.

Lunch was at Aubenas followed by a 2nd cat climb out of the valley. We hoped it would be cooler after yesterday’s 42c caldron and it was but only by a mere 3c! However as we topped the 800m climb it was much cooler and we enjoyed a descent and flat run in along the Rhone river to Valence.

We have a 200km lumpy stage into Gap tomorrow, the gateway to the Alps, but more importantly a much needed rest day follows that. Then the final phase of a few testing days climbing again in the mountains.

It is too early to dream of Paris and seeing my family, but I miss them dearly. The silver chain that hangs around my neck with the inscription ‘love from your girls’ swings like a pendulum as I climb with my jersey undone in the hot afternoon sun. It brings me strength and reminds me of the sacrifices that they have made over the last few months as I trained and the challenge weighed heavy on my mind.

I am humbled by the support I have received in donations. The pain my body feels each day is nothing compared with those that are suffering with Leukaemia and going through treatment. With each pedal revolution the team make we are helping Professor Charlie Craddock and his team help find a cure.

NB. Wifi is prehistoric here so sorry for lack of images x




~ by theboxterboy on July 18, 2015.

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