67 Miles, 5,843 ft
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Today has been a very long time in the making! After last year’s Land’s End to John O’Groats tour the so-called ‘Elites’ who may now become the ‘Super Six’ decided to do another tour together and the Pyrenees was our destination of choice. So about 12 months ago we booked our places with ACT Cycling Tours. Subsequently we even had a very wet training weekend in the Lake District back in May (see blogs for 29 April to 2 May). So it was great at last to actually be standing on the road in St-Jean-De-Luz ready for Le Grand Depart. So much anticipation; now the reality was upon us. And the prospect of riding together again was brilliant.
|The Elites: (l-r) Vince, Nick, Andy, Michael, Geoff, Mark|
Apart from the stunning scenery, sunny skies and lively banter, two things struck me. First how smooth the road surfaces were and second how little traffic there was. This meant that we could really enjoy our surroundings. So much so that we relaxed and began riding two abreast on what, back home would be a fairly major ‘A’ road. Our enjoyment was somewhat shattered by a loud hailer announcement of “Hombres - uno!” as a police vehicle, complete with flashing blues, passed us by. Oh dear, a potential diplomatic incident within the first 20 miles. So we tucked in behind each other and continued on our way to the first feed stop at Sunbilla where Martyn and Amanda were waiting for us.
|Stunning scenery near Salidas|
All too soon we were into Pamplona, riding through the outskirts and into the historic old part of the city to reach our hotel. Unpacking, I discovered that I had left at home the cable that connects my camera memory card to my iPad so the photos will have to wait until I get home. Aargh. And if I was told this was the route for tomorrow, my only comment would be “What time do we start?”