Today saw us compete in the third and longest stage of the Aviva Womens Tour. Covering 140km of hilly terrain its safe to say it was another tough day in the office. However it’s day three and I can still type, this is great news!
At this point I should probably mention that for teammate Kim Le Court De Billot, our Mauritian rider, this was actually not her longest stage. Yesterday while in a small group just off the back of the peloton, she and the rest of the convoy got directed the wrong way off the route adding on an extra 15km. They went from 5 minutes behind to over 30 minutes and at risk of being time cut! Which obviously they weren’t as it was the signallers fault, not theirs. Following this experience I can assure you there was no way she was getting tailed at any point from the peloton today, ha ha.
Before every stage you always have a read of the race program and check out the altitude profile, road sizes, wind directions etc. to make sure you have as much information as possible before you ride it. I may have accidentally read the wrong day the other day but usually I am really good at picking up major road changes and features etc. Unfortunately occasional I get thwarted by the route profile.
If you have ever seen them they actually look quite pro and I am assured accurately relate to terrain changes. However in the majority of cases they can only be described as “a straight line” drawn by a two year old and have zero relevance to the actual route. Today may have seemed like that to me. As Helen assures Laura that the first hill sprint is only 200 metres long, how hard can it be? It was a brick wall. Mental note to self, pay closer attention to scale on the axis!
As I have already told you in previous blogs I am the team worker and today they (my teammies) really decided to use me. Around 60km Lucy asked if I had any water, which knowing the feed was not far aware I duly gave up a bottle. I then proceeded to ride up to Laura where she instantly stated ‘oh you’ve got an energy left can I have that?’ Which she kindly swapped with her half drunk back washed water so I didn’t have to go entirely without. As I was making my way back through the peloton I spotted Elinor who then enquired if I had any spare food. Well there goes my spare waffle and gel. Turns out I am actually a one women confectionary machine!! Oh and I’m also now dehydrated and hungry.
We had to change hotels again for the final two stages and I got really excited as our hotel is a Hilton. When I was a kid my granddad had a members card after he worked as a carpenter for the chain for many years and so we used to stay in them once a year on our annual holiday. They also always sent him this massive box of really fancy chocolates for Christmas every year, at least 2kgs worth. Anyway I always remember them being the fanciest hotels, don’t get me wrong they are still lovely but, it would seem they, just like my memories of the size of wagon wheels, are not as big/shiny as they used to be.
Tomorrow apparently the route includes tough sections of a really famous local time trial called the North Road Hard riders 25 mile TT. The last time I rode this Stef actually pummelled me on the route and basically had to push me home to Hatfield. I will add now he was good back then, take from this statement what you will. Even so its only a short 102km so should be fun. Till then.