Another early start to get to Avranches to see the start of Stage 11 of the Tour de France, an individual time trial.
We set out from the hotel and cycled 13 miles to a nearby train station and made our way to Avranches. (The reason we had to get the train was time issues – we needed to be back at 4pm for our catamaran back to England!)
When we got to the start there was team busses everywhere. It was a cycling metropolis full of expensive bikes and even more expensive bike riders! The first bus we came to belonged to Cannondale…
We had a good look round and then cycled around to the other team coaches. Unfortunately I needed to stop and forgot to un-clip… BOOM!! Straight over I went, in front of lots of cycling fans… Embarrassed was not the word!!
After a short stay there it was time to cycle 33 miles to the next train station to get us back to St Malo. As we weren’t 100% sure where we were going we were fortunate to stumble across a section if the TT 10 miles up the road!
We watched a few riders speed past and then set off. Unfortunately we ended up on a main road where bikes are prohibited and was politely told by the French Highways Agency to get off at the next exit! I did encounter my first Category 4 climb on the off limits road and sped up it at an average speed of 11.5mph which isn’t too bad for a fat lad who doesn’t like hills!!
A bit further along, with the heat upwards of 31 degrees, I was blowing like hell so we stopped for some food.
We had 20km to go and not much time to do it in so we set off again to the station in Dol-de-Bretange. It was the worst ride I’ve ever experienced. The heat was immense and around every corner there was hill after hill. We eventually made it back with about three minutes to spare.
And that was that really. Another Coke at Subway and an electrolyte drink to rid me of my dehydration headache and it was on board the catamaran and away home.
Here are the routes we took following stage 11: