Tour de l Aude

Friday 22nd May 2009

by catherine williamson
All good intentions of an up to date blog entry went out of the window, though a friend had a laptop, laying down is far too appealing after a few days!  The tour got off to a bad start, was well down in the prologue and the team time trial two days after that was a disaster as I worked to hard at for some reason about 70RPM then blew and finished on my own loosing loads of time .  However, knew I was never racing for GC so wasn t to worried and it did nt stop a little swim in the sea after while the Russians on the team drank beer! 
The first stage, 116km was, like all the week would be, on small french roads.  The race split on a 2nd cat climb and I was at the front, unfortuntly it all came back together for a bunch sprint of 80 or 90.  I came in 9th, one of my best this year and my Russian team `mate` was 3rd. 
The stage following the time trial, a 116km race included a 1st cat which I dropped off on but which came back together.  The race started where we were staying in a shabby hotel (where the ketchup was the best tasting food and I made a mental note never to make pasta soup!!).  Again it was a bunch gollop with a few too many bends and I came in 20th, pleased to avoid a crash but on the front at 4k to go thinking we were about there.   More impressive than the race was the 8 cans of beer 2 Russains got through on the drive after the race while I munched a protein bar and some milk!!    
Day 6 (think i ve missed a day somewhere,  …is all a blur now anyway!  Yes, did, I got a 19th after the race split on the last climb with 10 away and a group behind) was really in the hills with little rest bite and constant battling on small roads.  The pace was high from km0 with attack after attack .  I stayed near the front and got over the first 2nd cat fine.  A break went away whiich I failed to get across to then we were on a long 17k climb.  I was quite pleased to hang on till the elastic band finally snapped about 5k from the top.  I managed to tag a few back and we caught the next group.  I had a shocking decent loosing control of my back wheel and had aclose encounter with a wall.  Loosing all confidence I got dropped from the group and with the finsh at the bottom lost a minute to them, gutted but happy to be alive.  The nerves did nt steady until we reached our camp site at 1100m, Italian drivers, moutain roads and no seatbelt, not my idea of fun!
Yesterday was a pleasant if slightly fustrating ride, straight into a long HC climb and I was dropped quite early.  Was swept up by the last group after just missing the wheels of the group in front and so spent the day getting to the finish, enjoying the scenery  having a chat and loosing bags of time.  At least my team mate has suddenly found form and came in 10th.

2 Responses to “Tour de l Aude”

  1. catherine williamson Says:

    PS please excuse spelling, its being a long old week, 7 down, 3 to go and my bed is calling… plus I have some mechanical problems I have to fix, saddle decided to move and point upwards the whole race yesterday, ow!!

  2. shell Says:

    Cath you are a star, I (and Andy) think you should put a book together writing about your racing experiences as we enjoy reading them…so glad to be old and past it !!!

    Hugs, Shell

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