We’re in France after our respective Chunnel and ferry crossings. Here’s what happened on a very big day…
A long day in the saddle today, with the main theme being… rain… and some wind… and a bit more rain! Strong riding from the peloton through the French countryside even when they have to battle through the fresh manure that had escaped on its way to the surrounding fields.
The rain and mud can’t dampen the spirits of the peloton though, and the celebration of two riders’ birthdays and a visit from the mayor of Boire Sainte Rictude at lunch sent us off with a smile. More rain and mud to contend with this afternoon with some long stages taking some solid effort. AHMM refuel sorted the group out with some much needed hot cross buns to get them to the end.
95 riders safely delivered to Reims after 313kms, now preparing themselves for another long day tomorrow.
After a relatively smooth ferry crossing, the Portsmouth riders are reunited with their bikes in Caen and roll out into a misty, rainy morning. Crossing Pegasus Bridge, the scenery of the day is set by the historic battlefields of Normandy and northern France. The rain stops but the combination of road muck, farm fields are rain is bringing the riders’ “Belgian tans” along nicely.
It’s a long day for the Portsmouth riders too, at 286km, so it’s a day of learning to eat, all of the time – from porridge to baguettes and tarte tatin at lunchtime, followed by AHMM’s hot cross buns at the end of the day. The final stage of the day is taken in the dark, with a hardcore contingent of cyclists making their way to Blois.
Quote of the day:
“We need more women on the ride: the bus would smell much nicer.” Thanks Andy Matthews!
Images from the Folkestone route:
Images from the Portsmouth route: