France, April 26, 2007
There is nothing like a 10 hour trip in a car before two hard days of racing on the west coast of France. Everyone gets so excited about the trip, they just can't wait.
We arrived at 4.30pm after a 5am start. The highlight of the trip was at 5:10am we heard a 'ssshhhhh' noise, it was Matti 'Roudy', he thought it was a good time to crack the lid on a 1.5 litre bottle of Coke. He loves it!
After arriving we went out for a roll, just to get rid of the travel legs, then it was back to the hotel for a French feed (salad, pasta, chicken and bread).
Tour du Finistère, Fra (1.1) April 21
This was a very hilly race, up and down all day. Not the best course for me. Once again I was off the back a couple of times then the team had to do some work to get most of us back to the lead group. Most of the team where there to face the five 8km local laps, with a nasty 17 percent climb in it. I pushed out two local laps and blew my doors off up the climb, but Badger, Big Donk, Hamish and Roudy pushed through to the finish. Solid day! [Full results, report & photos]
Now it was time to go back to the hotel and recover for the next day's racing with a French feed, massage and some stories/jokes with the team.
Tro Bro Léon, Fra (1.1) April 22
This race was a little more suited to me, with only about five climbs and 25 sections of dirt/gravel/grass roads. These sections make it very interesting with stones, dust and riders going everywhere.
To start the day I was back in the cars for about 10-15km with a stiff link in the chain. This is a good way to fill the legs up with lactic acid early in the day. Again the team did some work to fill in the gaps after it split over the dirt sections. The team had a pretty unlucky day with a lot of flats at bad times in the race. I had a flat with about 40km to go but managed to get back on.
There where four local laps of 4km with a small dirt section in it. There where still three riders up the road, but after two laps it came back together. My legs where pretty dead by this stage, so just tried to tuff it out, do the best. Rhys did well, 11th and I pushed across for 24th. A good hard dirty day had by all. [Full results, report & photos]
Over the weekend I found out that some of the team members have their own special way to pin numbers on their jersey. Some of the boys just pinned them on random and others had a special 4x3x2 formation of pins on each number. It's all about the pins! How do you pin your number?
Now it is time to roll out the legs with a coffee ride to Punto café, should be good, the sun is out.
'Shake and Bake'
Kane 'Munge' Oakley
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