Category Archives: Tour de France Stages

Stage 6 – Gruppetto Duties

Day 6 stats

Abbeville to Le Havre
Abbeville to Le Havre
The Yellow arrows
The Yellow arrows

Saddle time for today – 8 hr 15 minutes

Saddle time cumulative – unknown

Apologies for not blogging sooner but WiFi has been difficult. Today it rained, which was a welcome break from yesterday’s heat. I rode the first 50km out on the front by myself, before taking on Gruppetto duties for the rest of the day.  It was a nice easy day through some lovely countryside and we finished in Le Havre, which I last visited in about 1982 with my Mum, so it brought back some happy memories.  Bit of a dull  picture of a yellow arrow, but it what we look for all day, everyday.

Amount raised for William Wates Memorial Trust so far:  £3531.  If you would like to increase this amount, please use this link to my charity page.  I will personally thank you in the next post.

Stage 5

Day 5 stats

Saddle time for today – 6 hr 30 minutes

Saddle time cumulative – 28 hr 10 minutes

Today’s stage was hot – 42 degrees recorded on my bike computer.  And 187km long.  That said, it was a beautiful stage through the World War 1 battlefields of the Somme.  I enjoyed it, and posted a few photos on my Twitter feed.  I also managed to give my bike a little clean at the end of the stage – a clean bike is a fast bike, so the saying goes.

Off to Le Havre tomorrow.  Similar distance and similar temperatures forcasted.  Best go and get rehydrated!

Amount raised for William Wates Memorial Trust so far:  £3531.  If you would like to increase this amount, please use this link to my charity page.  I will personally thank you in the next post.

 

Stage 4

Day 4 stats

Saddle time for today – 7 hours 50 mins for 235 km

Saddle time cumulative – 21 hours 40 mins

Riding the cobbles on Stage 4 of Le Tour

The longest stage of the Tour was today, and we covered 236km with a few sectors of pave (cobbles) thrown in for good measure.  Don’t know what all the fuss is all about?  Yes I can ride cobbles, but I don’t particularly like them.  On a cross bike, yes, on a road bike not so great.  Anyway, it was a long, hot day and I tapped it out with a couple of riding buddies, Sylvan for most of the day and joined by Nick, Dave, Big George and Peter for some of it.  Glad to get the cobbled stage over with safely.  Just 195km tomorrow!

Amount raised for William Wates Memorial Trust so far:  £3532.  Thank you Charlie and Tracy for the great donation.  If you would like to increase this amount, please use this link to my charity page.  I will personally thank you in the next post.

Stage 3 with finish on the Mur de Huy

Day 3 stats

Mur de Huy uphill finish!
Mur de Huy uphill finish!

Saddle time for today – 6 hours

Saddle time cumulative – 13 hours 55 minutes

This may look like fairly easy stage from the profile, but believe me when I say that the Mur de Huy uphill finish was quite a challenge at the end of a longish day.  Granted, it is only 1.3 kilometres long, but it touches 19% at it steepest and averages around 10%.  It has been the finish of La Fleche Wallonne, the famous one-day race, since 1984.  Bagged three 4th Cat climbs and one 3rd Cat climb today.  If you want an explanation of how climbs are categorised, I wrote a post about it here.

Anyway, best get some sleep now for the longest stage of this year’s Tour de France route tomorrow.  It comes in at 222km, with a few sectors of pave (cobbles) thrown in for good measure.  Interesting fact, it is the shortest “longest” stage in Tour history.  OK it was not that interesting, but in the early 1920 the longest stages were in excess of 400km!  They were tough back then!  Also, tomorrrow, the Tour enters France after 2 stages in the Netherlands and one in Belgium today.

Amount raised for William Wates Memorial Trust so far:  £3431.  Thank you to the Carters and my boss Brigadier Huntley for the most recent donations.  If you would like to increase this amount, please use this link to my charity page.  I will personally thank you in the next post.

Stage 2

Day 2 stats

 

Some proper distance in the bank.  178km (did take a slight detour).

Saddle time for today – 7 hrs

Saddle time cumulative – 7 hrs 50 minutes

The finish today was in Zeeland, which is the westernmost province of the Netherlands.  It comprises three fingers of land jutting into the North Sea, and its residents have had to face the constant threat of flooding through the centuries.

It wasn’t the water that we had to battle with today, we had to battle another force of nature – the wind.  But I have to say that it was fairly kind to us.  A lot of the route today was exposed flatlands, where gusts blow in unchecked off the sea.  It was like a summer stroll along Holland’s picturesque coastline, following random bike paths for most of the day.  I have to say  that the Dutch have got this cycling thing sorted.

We also had a surprise visit from Big George Hincapie who rode with us all day.  Or is he a replica!

Surprise visit by Big George Hincapie
Surprise visit by Big George Hincapie

Amount raised for William Wates Memorial Trust so far:  £3361.  If you would like to increase this amount, please use this link to my charity page.  I will personally thank you in the next post.

Stage 3 tomorrow and we finish on the Mur de Huy – can’t wait.

Stage 1 of my Tour de France journey

Only a short opening day
Only a short opening day

Day 1 in the bag.  14km complete, (well actually 18km because we rode from the hotel) 3268km to go!  This first day is just the opening time trial, hence the short distance.  Proper day tomorrow, 166km, so slightly over the Century (100 mile) mark.  We rode around the cycle paths and had to obey traffice signs, so there was plenty of stopping and starting.  I have a feeling that no other day will be as easy as today!

Utrecht is a place of great religious significance and home to one of Europe’s oldest universities.  In fact, if my memory serves me correctly, I think that either the first of second Viscount Barrington, who lived in Beckett House, Shrivenham in the 1700s may well have studied here.  I only mention that because I currently work at the aforementioned house.  It is also the home of Miffy!

Utrecht - the home of Miffy.
Utrecht – the home of Miffy.

Utrecht has fully embraced Le Grand Depart of Le Tour, which starts here next Saturday.

Utrecht and Le Grand Depart
Utrecht and Le Grand Depart

Saddle time today – 50 minutes

Saddle time cumulative – 50 minutes

Amount raised for William Wates Memorial Trust so far:  £3361.  If you would like to increase this amount, please use this link to my charity page.  I will personally thank you in the next post.

If you are interested in the route, please go to Rides and look for Stage 1 at the bottom of this page.

So far, so good.  May the good times continue.