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By Will Frischkorn
A HOT one here in France-land today, and fast from start to finish. A flurry of attacks in the first few minutes eventually created a group of 21. With a slight wind at our backs the first hour rolled 53Ks under the tires.
The group was just a bit too big however and eventually a concerted chase from behind brought us back. Four took off out of the group for the long haul, the rest of us got to go back, fetch some bottles and settle in for the day.
Not much settling though … We all commented after the race that today was a deceptively hard grind. With a tailwind most of the day and the profile always tilting up there were few moments without tension on the legs. Another day where there was little to be won but a lot to be lost with a bit of bad luck for any of the GC riders.
We spent most of the day once again keeping Christian up front and out of trouble. With real heat out there there were a LOT of runs back to the car, both for bottles and ice socks. Anything you can do to keep cold, both during the race and afterwards to help the body shift back to recovery mode, is paramount on these days, especially heading towards the mountains tomorrow.
Aside from the racing I had a nice treat these past two days with a visit from some family. An aunt and uncle live not far away for the summers and my mom, a sister, a couple of cousins and another uncle all came by after the finish yesterday. While I enjoyed my post-race rice, eggs and fixings mash they all shared a few glasses of bubbly on the terrace of a beautiful old hotel where we were camped in Nimes.
It was such a welcome break to get away for a few minutes and catch up with familiar faces not a part the team. Today, about 100k in, they were all camped out roadside enjoying the wonderfully French traditional roadside picnic and gave a massive cheer as we went by. Now a week to go before I get to see both of my sisters, my dad and girlfriend all in Paris!
Also worth mentioning is that Jonathan is the MAN! I’ll preface that by saying that it’s been far too long since I’ve enjoyed a good glass of wine, and he keeps sending me messages from insane restaurants he’s enjoying with the VIP crew.
When I climbed onto the bus today I saw the wax-coated neck of a massive bottle sticking out of my race bag. The smile started. I pulled the puppy out to find a 3 liter bottle of 04 Pegau Reservee. Apparently while we were racing this morning the VIPs were hitting up the vineyards of Chateauneuf du Pape. Thanks for the souvenir! While it would be a good one to stick in the cellar for a few years I have a wee hunch it might not make it back …
What you just read came wirelessly from a small black fruit.