The small matter of 1 kilometre per hour

A strange sense of trepidation over one line in the information pack I received today from Velo magazine – “The maximum time limit will be calculated according to an average speed of 19km/h.” – I have no idea why one measly kilometre an hour worries me so much, maybe because I’ve mentally worked on the basis of 18km/h so far.

It’s full of the little bits of information that will be useful. It confirms that the ravitaillements stations for water, food and so on will be at Guillestre, Col D’Izoard, Briancon and at the foot of Alpe D’Huez. On my club rides we usually stop for coffee and flapjacks on Box Hill which I think is about 80-90km into the ride. That would correspond roughly with Col D’Izoard, which I was thinking of skipping in favour of waiting until Briancon and the first elimination point, on the grounds it could be a bit of a bun fight.

Would an alternative strategy be to go relatively flat out to the first one at Guillestre, at about 54km, and put some time between me and the broom wagon then refuel, recover and stretch there before the Izoard? That way I would break the ride into 4 sections rather than 3, but would the time lost be worth it?

I’ve also spotted an amusing typo in the program of events whereby, in the English translation only, the first competitors will finish before they have officially started. If only such super-human feats were possible!

I’m also a bit torn on the fashion front. Originally, I had planned to wear my Rapha Tour of Britain jersey but part of me says that I should dispense with style in favour of loyalty and wear my London Dynamo jersey instead. In favour of the former is that it has a zip pocket for putting a bit of loose change, in case I fancy buying a sandwich or something other than what’s available at the ravitaillement points, as well as my mobile phone which I might use to take some snaps on the road for posterity of the event.

I do hope it brightens up tomorrow for the ride as a third week of rain would really annoy me.



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