Stage 5 – 218km from Fougeres to Tours (2013, Stage 12)
Yesterday I was raving on about how picturesque Mont-Saint-Michel was and ended up posting my blog prematurely. Last night I stayed in Fougeres and what a picturesque place that is as well, particularly the Chateau de fougeres, which is a medieval stronghold standing on a rocky islet – unfortunately time wouldn’t allow for a visit but Andy did take this snap from the hotel car park.
Todays stage was very long at 220km but also about as flat as it gets in the Tour, the stage didn’t even contain a categorised climb. Although it still gently rolled with numerous 1km 4-5% ascents, nothing to taxing but enough to interrupt the rhythm.
It has been a very hot day peaking at 35 degrees although there has been a slight cooling wind, so luckily I’ve not had to deal with any crosswinds. Riding in crosswinds is really mentally challenging due to the concentration levels needed to avoid being blown off the road or into the path of a car.
The ride took me into the Loire Valley, also known as the Garden of France, it was particularly evident in the lead-up to Tours as I passed a couple of vineyards and orchards along the banks of the Loire river – it was tempting to stop and unofficially PYO. I’m looking forward to tomorrows ride where I should see more of the same as the entire route will keep me within the Loire Valley, although I’m not drinking so won’t be able to sample the wares of the region – that is a real shame!
I also am constantly thinking of music and get tunes lodged in my brain, today however has been horrendous. I guess it’s due to the ‘Garden of France’ reference but all I’ve been able to hum is the ‘My name’s Iggle Piggle’ song from In the Night Garden – I’ve got my daughter to thank for that! I then got thinking about the film Touching the Void where a mountain climber whose had a fall, is getting delusional and on the edge of passing out, but he keeps hearing a Boney M tune which keeps him conscious, well if he’d had the Iggle Piggle tune instead he probably wouldn’t have made it.
Here’s todays stats:
- Distance: 220 km
- Time: 7 hours 58 minutes
- Average Moving Speed: 27.8 kmph
- Total Ascent:1,674 metres
Anyway time to switch off for the evening, and get an early night – at least the start point for tomorrows stage is within touching distance of the hotel. Although, I broke one of my own rules which is deal with first the thing you least want to be doing (normally it is the thing that needs doing first) unfortunately the van brakes have been making a horrendous noise for a few days and it looks like I’ll be without a support vehicle tomorrow, so my punishment is I’ll have to carry everything I need for the ride – hopefully it’s not too hot!
Good night all