Epic France – Day 7

FranceDay7

Swim: 2.4km
Bike: 171km / 3,000m
Run: 8k
Hours: 8h10

The day started early with a swim in the lake. My roommate Paul had got up even earlier to get his run done with hindsight this was a very wise choice given the 34c temps later in the day. The swim was very pleasant as I could only go steady due to my strained shoulder.

We were joined today by some guests – namely Rachel, Tamsin and Declan. It was good to see them all and felt quite odd to have people I know outside of Epic Camp along. We didn’t see much of Tamsin and Declan as Tamsin’s DiII battery went dead and she couldn’t stick with the group.

The ride started out along the cycle path and was the easiest riding we’ve done all camp. After about 25km I chatted with Russ and we were both bored of the path so got on the front and picked up the pace. After about 40km the path ended and the first climb started. No KOM points just for “Prestige”. A short sharp descent before the next one, this time for points.

As we started along the flat road Clas came alongside and told me that this was the start of the 20km to the next summit and perhaps we wanted some threshold work. I couldn’t resist so went to the front and started to push. Soon though I realised it wasn’t really the climb so I eased off to get my breath.

Once the climb started I picked up the pace and very quickly split the group. Rachel was super strong happily riding with Clas. At one point Rob and I are busting our balls hardly able to speak when up ahead we see Rachel one handed on the phone to Tamsin trying to explain where we are.

My initial surges were in the 350 watt range but my fatigue is showing itself in this top end I couldn’t sustain it for long or go higher. It was enough to break it up which was always my intention as I’m happier riding on my own. Rob was very strong today and rode away. John was also going well and slowly clawed me back. I managed to go over in 5th which I was happy enough with. I did feel great but seeing the data I had best ever 1h20 power of 275 watts.  Fitness is most definitely returning.

The second KOM was not so steep but still long this time I managed to head over in 4th. Again I pushed early on and had John claw me back. Dinner at the top was great. Then the descent was absolutely fantastic. Not only was it my sort of sweeping curves but I’m getting more confident. At one point I came round a hairpin to find a narrow bridge, hit the anchors, then saw the car coming the other way, hit them some more. Luckily he stopped and I got through. When I got to the bottom there was no sign of Scott and the others behind me. When they got down it turns out there was a car behind me that had stopped and Scott had gone in to the back. Is aero bars acted as a crush zone nad he was OK. The car was the poshest we’d seen all day and he’d scratched it. Scotts pride was a little wounded but not that bad as he managed to add another hilarious story to his vast repertoire this evening over a beer.

Back in town several of us had an ice cold beer beofre heading out to do our 8km run in the massive heat. It wasn’t as bad as I expected expected and got it done in about 44 minutes. I immediately got in the lake for a cool down.

Dinner yet again was awesome at this hotel. Beautiful food and great conversation. Afterwards I headed out for a beer with Scott, Douglas, Clas and the Poles. So relaxing and such fun. This is what it’s all about.

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