So Saturday came, and Saturday went, and boy am I glad it's gone! It was a tough day by any standards, with two Cat 1's, a Cat 2, and some 'should have been' categorised climbs also thrown in. Funnily enough, it was through an early sprint just prior to the first climb that the race broke up. Over 4kms, the peloton split into four groups, with the last of these calling an early 'piano' and forming groupetto. This is where the likes of Josie would stay, with Leonie (pictured below) riding off the front, and Lou chasing from behind. Lou would chase for another 80kms without a feed, before puncturing, walking 5kms bare foot, making a few calls via a strangers phone, before encountering the sag wagon. With no spare wheels, she was forced to pull out of the race, and consequently the tour!
In the race ahead, while approaching the final Cat 1, a bunch of 20 had formed with Carlee, Ruth and I present. Just as the attacks started...I punctured! With team follow cars having been pulled from the race through this section of road, I raced to the summit, descended on a punctured front wheel, until I was serviced by neutral spares. By this time Carlee was in a group of 10 up the road, so I joined a chase bunch of 8 to try and regain contact. While Mrs Dominator Carlee was setting the pace up front, I was chasing her down, and it wasn't until the final kms that she could hear instructions on race radio to sit on, a slight miscommunication and a long day that eventuated to nothing but very sore legs! We made it home in time to watch Cadel race the Tour Time Trial...maybe third time lucky next year?
Results: Tour Feminin en Limousin, Stage 3, Lauriere-Lauriere, 123kms