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The cue sheet for today showed that the stage was 97 Miles. Close, temptingly close to a century. Regular readers will know that the Captain doesn’t consider 99.9 miles to be a century – it has to be 100. So it was game on for a few extra miles at the end of the stage to rack up a proper century.
Today, the character of the route changed towards the back end. A complete transformation from gentle undulations to rollers. And some quite brutal rollers at that. Around about the 70-mile mark we faced a succession of climbs, some touching 12%, which had me changing down on to the granny ring which I haven’t needed to use for some time. With the temperature and humidity rising sharply what had seemed like an easy ride turned into something much more challenging. Now it was almost a case of survival. I could feel the seemingly never ending succession of rollers leaching away the strength from my legs. The downhill sections provided opportunities to recover but never quite enough to before the road turned upwards again.
The last part of the stage into Wooster was relatively straightforward. I was able to top up my water bottles to ensure I strayed hydrated – the main challenge for the day and Pete and I eased into town via a rather fine bike shop (didn’t buy anything). Then with a couple of circuits if the town to put on the requisite miles for the century we rolled up at our hotel just as the clouds burst – literally. Two centuries in two days! Wonderful.