Saturday, July 14, 2018

Stage 8 (2018 Tour de France, one day ahead)

With the stage to Roubaix looming, and then a transfer into the mountains, this stage seemed likely to offer some recovery time, ironic, given it almost clocks in at 200km.

After a missed turn leaving Dreux, we were soon heading out past some stunning old architecture.

We should have savoured it more, because the next 180km seemed to be endless rolling wheat fields, with the occasional small town.

Our first smoko break, at the 80km mark

This photo pretty much summed up yesterday's ride!
While the landscape was pretty uninspiring, the roads would have been benign had it not been for the fairly strong northerly, giving us a day-long headwind to content with.  Everyone was taking their turns today, which helped.

A large factory was belching god knows what into the skies above these wheat fields

Not often that you see a truck on a truck!
We arrived in Amiens at around four, and after a lap of the city, piled into the vans and drove to a nearby shopping mall for dinner.  We've discovered a restaurant named Flunch, which serves a modular buffet - somethings are all-you-can eat, while others you pay for by the plate.  It would be sacrilege to eat here on a regular trip, but abundant and prompt food has great appeal when we're spending so much time on our bikes and moving around in the vans.

The drive to our accommodation took just under an hour, but we're within easy striking distance of Arras for tomorrow's stage start.  The place is quirky, but kind of awesome!

The mansion has some guest rooms, but also is a family home

Getting bikes ready for cobbles and/or mountains!
I'm feeling pretty rooted, but I realise a lot of it is mental fatigue - I've done more bunch riding in the last week than the rest of the year put together!  Once we all get through tomorrow, I think the Alpine stages will be much more relaxing - we'll get more of our own space on the road, and definitely better views than we had today!!

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