Stage 4 – Mont-Saint-Michel

 

Stage 4 – 33km Time Trial from Avranches to Mont-Saint-Michel (2013, Stage 11)

tour Tracker stage 4

It’s was a long 230km drive from Rouen to the start point for todays stage, Avranches.  Todays stage has been a short time trial to Mont-Saint-Michel which is, one of the places I’ve most wanted to visit on the Tour Challenge route.  Therefore the transfer has been bearable passing Caen which took a real battering in WW2 and Bayeux famous for the tapestry depicting the events leading up to the Norman conquest of dear old England.

Stage 4 Start

Stage 4 Start

I should have perhaps have thought about the planning for todays stage as it’s a Sunday and not only is Mont-Saint-Michel the 2nd most popular landmark in France, but the clues in the name, it’s also a religious site – so it was really busy. It’s also an island community accessed via a causeway (more Lindisfarne than Portland), I biked over met Andy and then rode back to the car park where I got changed and then did the tourist thing back on the Island. They offer a free bus over from the car park, although free is a bit of an exaggeration as they did charge 12 euros to park, Andy also got stung 5 euros for a can of coke which I’m still ribbing him about.

However forget all the moaning, the place is simply stunning, the Island and surrounding bay are both UNESCO World Heritage sites – I can see why!  Interesting fact – Cornwall’s St Michaels Mount site was historically the Cornish counterpart to Mont-Saint-Michel,  it was rewarded to the monks of Mont-Saint-Michel by William the 1st (The Conqueror) in 1067 for their support during his claim to the English throne.

Mont-Saint-Michel

Mont-Saint-Michel

Mont-Saint-Michel View

Mont-Saint-Michel View

The one let down was that once inside, you get to see lots of interesting architecture, but the main thoroughfare is lined with tourist shops and cafes which I guess helps maintain the site, but is a just a bit off putting. I might recommend the Tower of London sets up a Tesco Express by Traitors Gate,  they could even start selling pictures of footballers who’ve left to join a rival club – they would do a roaring trade.

Andy and Myself at MSM

Andy and Myself at MSM

I almost forgot, in amongst the transfer, site seeing and history lesson, I also squeezed in a very enjoyable 32km time trial, here’s the details:

  • Distance: 31.94 km
  • Elapsed Time: 59:00
  • Average Moving Speed: 32.6 kmph
  • Total Ascent: 259 metres
Stage 3 Map

Stage 3 Map

That’s the fun over for the day, off to Fougeres ready for tomorrows 218km flat stage to Tours – hopefully the weather will be nice and not too windy.

Cheers

Justin

 

 

 

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