Take me to the Chapel 

Stage 16; 165km, Le Puy – Romans-sur Isère


It wasn’t until we stopped for lunch and read some tweets of encouragement that it dawned on me. back in 2015 when I rode the tour I studied each hamlet, village, town, climb and finish. Here I was two years later riding another Tour, but it’s very different as this is day 37 out of 63 and with that in mind I wanted to take each day as it comes.  

I didn’t realise I’ve been here before and over these very roads, not on a bike but in a car.

When I won National chef of the year in 2013 one of many special prizes was a dinner at 3 star French gastronomic temple, Regis & Jacque Marcon, we rode through that very village on top of the plateau in St Bonnet le Froid at 65km then descending down dropped to Tain l’Hermitage past Valrhona’s La Citè de Chocolate.

We rode past but I just managed to get this snap, I wished we could have popped in to show the guys what real chocolate is. But alas we had a stage to finish.

However with chocolate in mind we need to have a stunning chocolate mousse for ‘Back in the Saddle’ and I’ve got just the recipe, valrhona 70% chocolate and just eggs, no cream to mask the beautiful flavours of the chocolate.


Through the vineyards and a fleeting glimpse of La chapelle where we had our wine tasting over looking the Rhone valley some 3 years back. We have just been joined by Oli the wine buyer at headline sponsors Farr vintners, fresh strong legs and with understandably a great knowledge of the stuff that comes from grapes, like the 61 La Chapelle which I understood to be the one!!

There was again no time for sentiment or a beautiful glass of red, as the last 50km was run off into a stiff cross then head wind that took discipline from the group to stay together. I self appointed myself road captain and after a morning of playing ‘faux pro’ on some of the grippy bits and mixing it with the Belgium boys from another team with Ash, Andy, James and New man Oli, it was time to put my head down and ride for the group, if the skipper was still here it was what he would describe as a captains performance. Strong enough to make progress into the wind but at a rate that kept the group together.

Tomorrow we start the first of three very tough alpine days, over the Croix de fer and the Galibier which tops out at 2645m it’s going to be a very hard day indeed, I’m praying for strong legs and the cool head to know when to use them.

📷 – Dave Hayward

If you would like to donate then here’s my page-

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/HaydenGroves3TourChallenge

Thanks from all at Cureleukeamia

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~ by theboxterboy on July 17, 2017.

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