At the turn of the year I had been scouting the internet to try and find a long distance event to aim for as a motivation to see me through the cold winter months on the bike.
I have been to France a few times and really like cycling there but I like to travel new roads rather than going to the same place all the time. Seeing the event in Bordeaux really piqued my interest, I had never been down in the south west of France before and the route would take in some of the Pyrenean climbs so that was it I was sold on it and the entry was fired off in January.

Next step get the miles in, as we all know the weather for the first part of the year was pretty awful culminating in the “beast from the east” quickly followed by the “beast from the east 2” giving us some rather unprecedented snow fall and severely curtailing the cycling. Worrying times for my training schedule but all worked out as we were blessed with the best summer weather in over 40 years.

Thankfully our hot weather prepared me somewhat for the even hotter weather I was to experience in the south of France (peaking out at 34 Deg ).
I arrived a few days before the event started allowing me to get the bike built back up after a rather painless flight from Glasgow. Event registration and bike check followed and then a short shake down ride along part of the route just to get a feel for what was to come. Boy was it hot, I only went 25 miles but drank two full bottles – I was going to have to think hard about how I was going to ride this event or else I was going to crash and burn for sure.

The event was due to start on the Sunday evening so after checking out of the hotel I spent most of the rest of the day at the event HQ dozing and keeping out of the sun. With just over 150 riders starting that evening I had met up with a couple of riders from England (Richard Evans and David Bradshaw) and we kind of informally agreed to start at the back of the field and ride steady and see how it went.

After all the hanging around it was eventually time for the off, the first part of the route was mostly on cycle paths as we negotiated our way out of the north side of Bordeaux and eventually headed in to the Dordogne region. Even when the sun went down around 10pm the temperature was still high, eventually I rode through the whole night in short sleeves and shorts and no feeling of being cool at all.
02 Aug 2018 : 12:37 by ROBERTO