Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Etape 2009: Monday - Race Start

My eyes opened at 3:30 with thoughts of mountains and pain. I stayed in bed and went back to sleep only to be woken a short time later by the alarm. I could have slept a lot longer.

I got up to have breakfast. Clive joined me but Ed had his own food so stayed in bed a bit longer. I tried to eat but it was difficult. I managed the muesli I brought with me and some bread, an apple and coffee.

I had packed most of my gear the night before and my bike was already in the mini-bus to be taken to the start. We were all on the coaches on time (4:30) but it took forever to get to Montellimar and we were late. We also had to abandon the coach early due to traffic so it was 6:30 when we got our bikes.

I used the track pump to make sure the tyres were at full pressure but it was a disaster. The valve broke and all I heard was a hiss. Panic stations! I have never changed an inner tube so quickly and so well in my life. Under 5 minutes. Thanks to the very kind rider who gave me another spare inner. Very kind.

We got to our pen at 6:45 but we were all the way at the back of it. This wasn't a problem because we had such good numbers to start with.

The announcer counted down the start and we shuffled along for a few minutes towards the start line. We crossed at around 7:12 and we were off.

1 comment:

Karen Popplewell said...

Broken valve before start - worse nightmare eh? you did well to get it changed so quickly :-)