Day Two: Le grand défi

Mon 14 March 2016, 4:14 pm

The ferry had been typically uneventful, but at least it allowed us three or four hours kip and then the unpleasant alarm call.

The Deviants at dawn in Caen

At Caen the dawn delivered a clear sky; the pace is strong and before lunch we find we’ve done a brisk 120km. The sun stays out and the temp is around 10c. We’re all in good cheer though the coffee machine has broken, as has Brendon Walsh's bike. One will be fixed...

Decided on taking a break for a couple of stages and then to go for another 66km.

For the break, we’re sitting in this most luxurious… er… van. Driven by event manager, Rhian, who had managed to persuade officials to let her on to the ferry eventually, having mislaid her ticket on the shuttle bus. 

Big shout from the 3Fox events team back in London: “She was busy looking after everybody else!”

The van makes its way, sometimes on the right side of the road, sometimes not... 

As the Deviants team on the nouveau route is barely a quarter the size of the main peloton, support is made up of: 

  • One mechanic called Brown whose real name is Mark Storey, but the story about why his name is Brown is really boring, so no one has told it, so no one knows, so now it's quite interesting
  • And Helmut, identified by all as the very tall one
  • And paramedic Stuart, who likes to discuss exciting injuries with a hint of nostalgia
  • And two authoritative outsiders
  • And no coffee …

The route took us down from the channel to the south-east between two national parks, arriving just after 8pm in the Loire city of Blois.

This means about 30% of the route is behind us. After the alarm call at 4.45am, we face over 200 miles tomorrow.

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