In what is fast becoming tradition for the Legal & General Real Assets Cycle to MIPIM 2018, day four starts off like all the other days: rainy. Very rainy. The Portsmouth route rolls out of Beaune and Folkestone out of Dijon, into the dark and the most biblical of downpours ensues. It is a tough stage as the majority is also in the dark, but the riders get it done. Experienced riders said it’s the worst they’d ridden in and some beginners had never ridden in the rain – what a way to start!
The next stop is the point at which Portsmouth and Folkestone routes come together. Whilst the two groups remain separate out on the road, there is crossover at the stops and it lifts everyone’s soggy spirits to join up with friends and colleagues from the other route.
Through the region of Bresse, famed for its chickens, and after a lunch consisting of said chickens, the riders endure further sporadic downpours, but then a brisk wind blows away the clouds. Sadly it’s a headwind, which makes the afternoon quite challenging. Mid-afternoon is the lumpiest stage of the day – five climbs to enjoy – but enjoy it they did. Despite the wind, there is a distinctive aroma to the peloton (and the coach) of wet kit and sweaty bodies – one of the less desirable byproducts of four days’ damp cycling!
It’s happy cyclists that arrive into Hauterives to find pizza waiting for them, courtesy of AHMM REFUEL. Then it’s the final stage, in the dark into Valence, and 295km in the bag, which one of our Ride Captains described as “magical”.