Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Day 5 - Le Tour Heads North in a Classic One-Day

The final day of hugging the Atlantic coast of France is upon us, as is what would, in many cases, make a perfect classic one-day race. If yesterday was a walk in the park (and crashes made that definition suspect), today is a walk through a driving snowstorm in a stubbled field of harvested corn. A lot tougher. 

Today's undulating terrain, featuring two Cat 4's and
three Cat 3's, will have the legs aching. It's still
a sprinter's stage at the end, but the mountain men
will be happy. They're finally getting into a bit of
landscape. The legs are going to hurt. 

Today's stage is a bunch of categorized hills. Beginning in Lorient and ending 204.5 km later in Quimper, it's our last hurrah for Western France. Tomorrow's stage begins the journey eastward towards the cobblestones on Day 9. Today, however, will push the riders that much more - up and down and up and down. These aren't the big mountains still ahead, just a baby hint of what's still to come. Still, it'll be a good workout. 

It's our last day of being close to the Atlantic Ocean, as we
head north to the rolling hills and steep, narrow roads. 

The roads will be narrow, the climbs, although short, will be brutal. The focus is the Menez Quelerc h, a 2.9 km straight-up climb with a 16 percent grade in places. It might not be a tall peak, but it's a giant of a climb and a tough haul for anyone. It's not a killer finish, but the boys will certainly be happy to see the finish line today. 

Here are the hills - some very steep profiles there - and a
look at the slight incline at the finish. The legs will be
happy to see the end of today's stage. 

I've got a very busy day scheduled for my "day off", so I'm going to end up missing a lot of Le Tour today and will have to catch it on rebroadcast or streaming. Errands and things to drop off will take me all around town today before I can finally settle down for laundry and housecleaning (desperately needed). It's nice to have a day off, though, since I'll have to work next week while Chickie is on a week-long vacation. Have an excellent Wednesday and I'll be back tomorrow. 

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