If you never experience anything like what hit us half an hour ago at the TDF time trial, it’s not something you should wish for. Rain, hail, thunder… And suddenly much colder… Thankfully we chose to watch this stage from a small town (Saint Apollinaire) so the sides of buildings provided some shelter. But wow, this place was transformed and only now it feels hospitable. Pretty wild here in France!
The paragraph above was posted while on-scene, trying to type on an iPhone keypad in pouring rain & hail and discovering that it doesn’t work so well under those conditions! Fortunately, that was only a small part of the day, a day which began at a fairly-reasonable hour, setting the alarm for 7:35am, out of the hotel by about 8:20, a bit later than planned, but not too bad. Breakfast down the road at a bakery, then an 80 mile or so drive over twisty mountain roads to Gap, where we left our car at the train station and headed out by bike to the time trial course.
Why leave the car at a train station? Because we thought we might be taking the train back rather than riding, but that’s not how it worked out in the end. After the race, we arrived at the station at 6pm, an earlier train had left at 5:45pm and the next one not until 7-something. Since it’s only 10 rolling miles to Gap, we braved the next incoming storm and got back a whole lot faster than our ride out.