So we have arrived in St Amand-Montrond at our school based accommodation (pictured with Tiff and Rochelle). Just as I suspected, we are on the top floor and as far toward the end of the corridor as humanly possible (pictured Leonie and Tiff struggling up the stairs). With two bunk beds, I opted to sleep up top, taking one for the team as I had spent the night in the double in Plouay…and a lot of good that did me results wise! Carlee thought it funny as I climbed the stairs, not as funny as it was when I jumped on her at 2am to go to the toilet though! Our meals are served cafeteria style, with salad, carbs, meat, random looking sauces, yoghurt and dessert for choice. Unfortunately, they’re at ANOTHER school, about 1km away…which is termed driving distance while on tour :)
The first stage has been run and won, but sadly not by us. With a 4:30pm start, it was difficult to stay awake, lettle own motivated. At sign-on we were given a rose each (of which Nitis pawned off to good looking woman) and a tour t-shirt (sized from L-XL). Our 76.9km journey from our homely town through to Mehun-sur-Yevre faced us with flat terrain, two GPM’s, and after a combination of lead-out duties from Tiff, Rochelle and I, we had Vicki on equal points for the spotted jersey. The afternoon would have been a nice time to nap in the follow car, until we hit the 3.8km finishing circuit of which we were to complete four times. It was a matter of positioning in the closing stages, which caught Carlee and Leonie off guard, leaving a heavy workload for those of us at the front.
Despite numerous attacks, the race didn’t take shape until bell lap. Noemi Cantele (Bigla), Diana Zilute (Safi) and Tiff forced a break with 4kms to go but all three were riding solo. After chasing down the back straight, the top straight, and again on the home straight, my legs couldn’t take Rochelle any further than 300m to go. An uphill sprint over cobbles had her run second to Gioriga Bronzini (Safi), but elated with the result…Bronzini is a beast of a sprinter! I lost 11 seconds in 300m, which you don’t believe is possible until you’ve actually done it, with Carlee trying not to pass me at the end because she felt guilty that she hadn’t contributed! I should be able to grovel over the rolling hills for the majority of the week, discounting Friday maybe?
Results: Trophee D'Or, Stage 1, St Amand-Montrond – Mehun-sur-Yevre, France, 76.9kms