It was when we arrived at the 30km mark that I found it odd we were stopping for 'pisso' so early. Can we not empty our bladders before the race? In saying that Australia was represented two fold today when both Josie and Lou participated in trying out new and improved 'pisso' techniques. The toughest day of the tour consisted of two Cat 1 climbs. Josie and I had studied the course profile pre-race and decided that she second climb was simply 4kms of steady gradient and that a long fast drag was all that would be in store. However, by the time we had lugged our arse up a non-categorised 6km climb 80k into the race, we began to dread what lay on the road ahead. Tiff was in more pain then most as she had already endured a 20km solo break before the feed, rejoining the peloton after drifting to car 6 in race convoy.
The 'Chirio' girls told us to be prepared for attacks at 107kms. I quietly laughed when I hit this counter as I was surrounded by three who were grovelling to hold the wheel. The first QOM had come and gone, as had 19 girls who were now up the road. Kate had made the cut while I was joined by the remaining 'Perform Group' girls in the second bunch. While starting out on the last 'steady gradient' climb I had comments such as "Bell wouldn't have liked this hill anyway!" and "Butter chick is gonna kick your arse!" to the Futuroscope girls, running through my head. Kate went on to claim 9th with an impressive performance, making her our highest placed rider on GC in 12th. Although retaining 3rd in YR, after losing over 6minutes, I've dropped to 24th GC and cannot help but think maybe I don't pull up well from deep-tissue massage? Or maybe I don't pull up well from 6days of hard racing?
Results: La Route De France Feminine, Stage 6, Vittel - La Bresse, 131.3 kms