Monday, 14 July 2014

Stage 15 TDF Tallard - Nimes 216.6km



Thankfully the sun came out today and we had a nice 40 minute transfer from the alpine resort of risoul to Tallard where we began the stage before our rest day in carcassone. We rolled all the way through the provence region and passed some amazing lavender fields. After all the climbing we had done in the last couple of days it was a welcome change.  

We stopped en-route at the normal feed stops and since the weather was so nice we even added an extra 
stop to grab some ice cream. ( see photo on twitter account ) 

The weather was peaking in the high 20's and as the day wore on we went from rolling hills to flat lands which were pretty featureless. We were glad to arrive in the hotel in nimes and it was probably the best hotel so far ( novotel ) - The food was excellent and the beds were very comfortable.We watched the germans beat the argies and prior to bastille day the fireworks display in Nimes. 

I have been nursing a sore swollen right ankle for the past couple of days which restricts extended movement out of the saddle - I have been icing this as much as possible and hoping the rest day in Carcassone will give it more chance to recover before the pyreenean mountain stages. 






List of climbs for the day 

None recognised today.


Todays stats.

Distance: 216.6
Time on bike: 8:43:32 (10:55 Alps Stage 13) - 
Calories burned 4943( 5195 Yorkshire Stage 2 )
Ascent:  1632 meters (4340 Alps Stage 14)

Tomorrow is a rest day and we will transfer from Nimes to Carcassone in the morning. The transfer will take 2 hours and from then it will be recovery , recovery , recovery in preparation for the final 6 stages - 3 tough stages in the pyrenees and then a transition stage followed by a 54km time trial and then the run into paris. 

What will happen in the tour on this day ?

This is a flat rolling stage and you can expect high speeds all the way into Nimes. A day for the sprinters but all the peloton will be looking forward to the rest day after several hard days in the alps. 

Also i am updating twitter more regularly than the blog - Follow @senseitodd for the updates. 


On Saturday 28th June 2014 around 100 Tour de Force riders Will gather in Leeds for the 'Grand Depart. Some cycle Few Days, Some stay for longer. More Will arrives to join us over the Following three weeks. The event follows all 21 stages of the 2014 Tour de France route, staying 7 days ahead of the professionals, and finishing, 3656 km later, on Sunday 20th July in Paris.

All monies raised by participants and Their supporters goes to the William Wates Memorial Trust Whose Mission is to help young people The Most Disadvantaged keep away from a life of crime and violence and Fulfill Their Potential. This is Achieved by giving grants to charities That engages young people through the mediums of sport, arts and education. 

About The William Wates Memorial Trust (Tour de Force 2014) 
You can support me and the charity here: 



http://www.bmycharity.com/tourdefrancetodd

Any donation is greatly appreciated Thanks,

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Stage 10 Mulhouse - La Plance Des Belles Filles 161kms in 8 hours and change

To the mountains we will go.


So on paper this looked a very hard stage with rain forecast for most of the day. As it turned out we had torrential rain in the last 2 hours and some very hard climbs. We had a nice gentle 20km leg stretcher to the foot of the first climb.

20km spin to first climb

A group of the slower riders left 30 minutes early than the main bunch and with the long day ahead this was a wise move. I have been feeling better each day and today i felt extremely well going up the first climb
and then i started to struggle.I then realised i was still in the big chain ring and dropped down to the easier ring to push into the first feed stop at 40km. This was the first time i arrived at the first feed stop before everyone else. I now know what a full table of food looks like. I decided to take a photo of the board with only my name scribbled out. This will probably be the last time i arrive first. 

first on the board 
We then descended before hitting out first of 4 x Cat 1 climbs for the day. This was especially tough as the climb was on what looked like a forest path and it was getting colder the higher we climbed. Reaching the top of the petit ballon we immediately started the Col Du Platzerwsel before a freezing descent into the next feed stop. 

At 143.5km  we hit the hardest climb of the day the Co Des Chevres and this really was a forest track with walls of 14%. My garmin bike computer stopped recording a couple of times because it thought i was standing still. You know when a climb is hard when your computer thinks you aren't moving at all. The rain had now started to come down in cats and dogs and small streams were flowing down the climb. I reached the final feed stop drenched from the head to toe. A quick sugar and food intake followed a very wet and dangerous descent into the last climb of the day the La Blanche des Belles Filles. 


This climb had km markers all the way up and i counted down each one to the finish. I like to see these as you know how much pain you have left to endure. 

4 km to go
I reached the top about 6pm. It took another hour to reach the top before descending back down to get in the bus for the 1hr 40 mins transfer to Besancon.





  • At the summit



List of climbs for the day 


  • Km 30.5 - Col du Firstplan (722 m)8.3 kilometre-long climb at 5.4% - category 2
  • Km 54.5 - Petit Ballon (1 163 m)9.3 kilometre-long climb at 8.1% - category 1
  • Km 71.5 - Col du Platzerwasel (1 193 m)7.1 kilometre-long climb at 8.4% - category 1
  • Km 103.5 - Col d'Oderen (884 m)6.7 kilometre-long climb at 6.1% - category 2
  • Km 125.5 - Col des Croix3.2 kilometre-long climb at 6.2% - category 3
  • Km 143.5 - Col des Chevrères (914 m)3.5 kilometre-long climb at 9.5% - category 1
  • Km 161.5 - La Planche des Belles Filles (1 035 m)5.9 kilometre-long climb at 8.5% - category 1



Todays stats.

Distance: 161.5 km Including 4 Cat 1 climbs with a 22% wall to finish
Time on bike: 8:08:15 (10:26 Yorkshire Stage 2) - 
Calories burned 4282 ( 5195 Yorkshire Stage 2 )
Ascent:  3715 meters (3624 Yorkshire Stage 2)

Today the 08th  is a rest day and my main priorities are massage for the legs , check the bike , do my laundry and rest for tomorrows stage. It is quite incredible to think i have done 1839 kms in 10 days. Anything is possible and your body is capable of amazing things. 

What will happen in the tour on this day ?

This is billed as a mountain stage and all the GC contenders will have to be on their toes. The Col De Chevres will decimate the peloton and whoever is left standing at the top of the planche will have marked their cards as a genuine contender to win this years tour.Chris Froome won the last time the tour visited in 2012. If he wants to make a statement this will be the stage.


Also i am updating twitter more regularly than the blog - Follow @senseitodd for the updates. 

About The William Wates Memorial Trust (Tour de Force 2014) 

On Saturday 28th June 2014 around 100 Tour de Force riders Will gather in Leeds for the 'Grand Depart. Some cycle Few Days, Some stay for longer. More Will arrives to join us over the Following three weeks. The event follows all 21 stages of the 2014 Tour de France route, staying 7 days ahead of the professionals, and finishing, 3656 km later, on Sunday 20th July in Paris.

All monies raised by participants and Their supporters goes to the William Wates Memorial Trust Whose Mission is to help young people The Most Disadvantaged keep away from a life of crime and violence and Fulfill Their Potential. This is Achieved by giving grants to charities That engages young people through the mediums of sport, arts and education. 

You can support me and the charity here: 

http://www.bmycharity.com/tourdefrancetodd

Any donation is greatly appreciated Thanks,

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Stage 9 TDF Gerardmer - Mulhouse 171km in 8 hours



Todays stage was 171.6km and climbing was the order of the day. The first climb of the day gave us magnificent views back towards gerardmer. I said yesterday that this was going to be a hard stage and it sure delivered. The first feed stop came after 40 odd km and we didn't have to many pastries this morning at breakfast so we had a couple of treats. 


Don't worry the calories were burned off shortly after this on the monster Cat 1 climb of the day. 



I got to the top of this after 5 hours in the saddle and 5 climbs before this and was completely gassed out. I stopped and had 3 bottles of coke plus some blueberry tart ( well why not i am in france ). We then summited the final 2 climbs of the day before the 20km run in to the hotel. Up higher the temp was about 20 but down in the valley i saw a reading of 33. I was glad to to get back to the hotel and have a shower.


Todays stats.

Distance: 171.6km
Time on bike: 8:07:15 (10:26 Yorkshire Stage 2) - Took the pros 5 hours today
Calories burned in 4352( 5195 Yorkshire Stage 2 )
Ascent: 3124 meters (3624 Yorkshire Stage 2)

Tomorrows stage is 161.5 km with no fewer than 4 Cat 1 climbs categorised climbs. Another long day in the saddle and my Yorkshire stage 2 record is at risk and to top that off rain is predicted all day.See stage profile left.The final climb maxes out at 22% and then we have to descend it in the wet. Holy mother of all mountains batman!


Thankfully a rest day follow this and i will definitely need it after this if anything just to wash all my wet clothes. 

Also i am updating twitter more regularly than the blog - Follow @senseitodd for the updates. 


About The William Wates Memorial Trust (Tour de Force 2014) 

On Saturday 28th June 2014 around 100 Tour de Force riders Will gather in Leeds for the 'Grand Depart. Some cycle Few Days, Some stay for longer. More Will arrives to join us over the Following three weeks. The event follows all 21 stages of the 2014 Tour de France route, staying 7 days ahead of the professionals, and finishing, 3656 km later, on Sunday 20th July in Paris.

All monies raised by participants and Their supporters goes to the William Wates Memorial Trust Whose Mission is to help young people The Most Disadvantaged keep away from a life of crime and violence and Fulfill Their Potential. This is Achieved by giving grants to charities That engages young people through the mediums of sport, arts and education. 

You can support me and the charity here: 


http://www.bmycharity.com/tourdefrancetodd

Any donation is greatly appreciated Thanks,

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Stage 8 TDF Tomblaine - Gerardmer



So the stage started from Tomblaine which is really a suburb of nancy as far as i am aware. As you can see from the stage profile up and downs for roughly 140km before 2 x cat 2 climbs and 1 x cat 3 to finish the day. 


It rained from the first feed stop onward until the last one at 132km before we hit the final climbs. I felt the best i had in awhile and managed to be awarded the stage award for my efforts. It was nice to be up the front today rather than being at the back. 



Todays stats.

Distance: 176km
Time on bike: 7:40:03 (9:17:31 Yorkshire Stage 2)
Calories burned in 3465 ( 4663 Yorkshire Stage 2 )
Ascent: 1601 meters (3249 Yorkshire Stage 2)

Tomorrows stage is 170km with no fewer than 7 Categorised climbs. Another long but exciting day in the saddle.See stage profile left.










Also i am updating twitter more regularly than the blog - Follow @senseitodd for the updates. 


About The William Wates Memorial Trust (Tour de Force 2014) 

On Saturday 28th June 2014 around 100 Tour de Force riders Will gather in Leeds for the 'Grand Depart. Some cycle Few Days, Some stay for longer. More Will arrives to join us over the Following three weeks. The event follows all 21 stages of the 2014 Tour de France route, staying 7 days ahead of the professionals, and finishing, 3656 km later, on Sunday 20th July in Paris.

All monies raised by participants and Their supporters goes to the William Wates Memorial Trust Whose Mission is to help young people The Most Disadvantaged keep away from a life of crime and violence and Fulfill Their Potential. This is Achieved by giving grants to charities That engages young people through the mediums of sport, arts and education. 

You can support me and the charity here: 


http://www.bmycharity.com/tourdefrancetodd

Any donation is greatly appreciated Thanks,

Friday, 4 July 2014

Stage 7 Tour De Force Epernay - Nancy 224km

The longest stage of tour so far was today which was 224km and took me just over 9 hours. The day started well and i managed to hang onto the chain gang until the 65km mark before being dropped on a largish hill. I managed an extra 20kms than yesterday so a sure sign that i am getting a little fitter each day.On the run into Nancy there were two cat 4 climbs which were a good warm up for tomorrows 160km stage with the final 30kms of climbing up to the ski station at Gerardmer la mauselaine.

I also managed to catch a photo of the allusive Phil Deeker - Cycling extroadinaire taking some time out to check out what the french had been doing for the Tour De France.




















The Tour starts in Yorkshire tomorrow and i am predicting it will be massive. Now you can see what i have been doing for the last 7 days.

Todays stats.

Distance: 224km
Time on bike: 9:14:03 (9:17:31 Yorkshire Stage 2)
Calories burned in 4495 ( 4663 Yorkshire Stage 2 )
Ascent: 2134 meters (3249 Yorkshire Stage 2)


Also i am updating twitter more regularly than the blog - Follow @senseitodd for the updates. 


About The William Wates Memorial Trust (Tour de Force 2014) 

On Saturday 28th June 2014 around 100 Tour de Force riders Will gather in Leeds for the 'Grand Depart. Some cycle Few Days, Some stay for longer. More Will arrives to join us over the Following three weeks. The event follows all 21 stages of the 2014 Tour de France route, staying 7 days ahead of the professionals, and finishing, 3656 km later, on Sunday 20th July in Paris.

All monies raised by participants and Their supporters goes to the William Wates Memorial Trust Whose Mission is to help young people The Most Disadvantaged keep away from a life of crime and violence and Fulfill Their Potential. This is Achieved by giving grants to charities That engages young people through the mediums of sport, arts and education. 

You can support me and the charity here: 


http://www.bmycharity.com/tourdefrancetodd. Any donation is greatly appreciated Thanks,






Todd 



Thursday, 3 July 2014

Stage 6 Tour De Force Arras - Reims 188km

So 188kms from Arras to Reims - 8.00 am start after a 40 min transfer and chewed down the k's till we completed all 188k getting into the hotel at 7.00pm - shower , Dinner and writing blog at 11.00pm. Feeling very tired. Longer stage tomorrow with 234km.

All in all the body is holding up well - I think in 7 days my total k's is just over 1100 kilometres. I am definitely finding out the limitations of my body and what it can stand up to. As long as i manage pace throughout the day i am getting to the hotel in a reasonable state to start my recovery and prepare for the next day.

Even though i have some aches and pains it was very humbling to ride past so many cemetaries from the Great War. Whatever pain i have nothing is compared to what hey endured on the battlefields of France. The Tour is commemorating this legacy with this stage. I am glad it is over but respectful of its importance all the same.

Todays stats.

Distance: 188km
Time on bike: 7:41:50 (9:17:31 Yorkshire Stage 2)
Calories burned in 3341 (Stage 2 Yorkshire 4663)
Ascent: 1469 meters (3249 Yorkshire Stage 2)


Also i am updating twitter more regularly than the blog - Follow @senseitodd for the updates. 


About The William Wates Memorial Trust (Tour de Force 2014) 

On Saturday 28th June 2014 around 100 Tour de Force riders Will gather in Leeds for the 'Grand Depart. Some cycle Few Days, Some stay for longer. More Will arrives to join us over the Following three weeks. The event follows all 21 stages of the 2014 Tour de France route, staying 7 days ahead of the professionals, and finishing, 3656 km later, on Sunday 20th July in Paris.

All monies raised by participants and Their supporters goes to the William Wates Memorial Trust Whose Mission is to help young people The Most Disadvantaged keep away from a life of crime and violence and Fulfill Their Potential. This is Achieved by giving grants to charities That engages young people through the mediums of sport, arts and education. 

You can support me and the charity here: 

http://www.bmycharity.com/tourdefrancetodd

. Any donation is greatly appreciated 

Thanks,







Todd 

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Stage 5 - Ypres - Arenberg Porte du Hainaut 155km - The cobbles

Todays stage was 155 km from Ypres to Arenberg. We kicked off from Ypres at around 7.45 am and arrived at 5.00pm in Arenberg. Shorter day Compared to the last 4 stages and a welcome change.

We encountered 9 sections of cobbles which should be interesting to watch When the tour comes through. 

The basic strategy for riding the cobbles is to hit the sections as fast as possible, and try to float over the top reducing the vibrations .Well this sort of strategy worked for me for the first hundred meters or so but some of these sections are over 1km long with the longest at 3km. I was wearing two pairs of gloves and the vibrations were still getting through.To give you an idea of what this feels like  then  jump on a power plate and turn it up to its highest level ,now throw in a blind fold  and put the powerplate on wheels with no ability to control direction. Scary Heh? . Thankfully there were no crashes today only lots of flat tyres.

I did not see it but several pro teams were training on the cobbles including Saxo Tinkoff and Iam cycling. Alberto Contador (favorite for the tour) signed one of the jerseys for one of the guys. That is one of the good things about cycling in that we can go where the pros go

We were also filmed by French TV for their news show but more on that tomorrow. 


Todays stats.

Distance: 161km (includes ride back to hotel from finish)
Time on bike: 7:19:04 (9:17:31 Yorkshire Stage 2)
Calories burned in 2736 (Stage 2 Yorkshire 4663)
Ascent: 598 meters (3249 Yorkshire Stage 2)

Tomorrows stage is 194 km from Arras to Reims through A Few Word War 1 battlefields and into the champagne with 2 cat 4 climbs in the second half of the ride. 

Also i am updating twitter more regularly than the blog - Follow @senseitodd for the updates. 


About The William Wates Memorial Trust (Tour de Force 2014) 
On Saturday 28th June 2014 around 100 Tour de Force riders Will gather in Leeds for the 'Grand Depart. Some cycle Few Days, Some stay for longer. More Will arrives to join us over the Following three weeks. The event follows all 21 stages of the 2014 Tour de France route, staying 7 days ahead of the professionals, and finishing, 3656 km later, on Sunday 20th July in Paris.

All monies raised by participants and Their supporters goes to the William Wates Memorial Trust Whose Mission is to help young people The Most Disadvantaged keep away from a life of crime and violence and Fulfill Their Potential. This is Achieved by giving grants to charities That engages young people through the mediums of sport, arts and education. No matter How Many internships They ride, it's gonna hurt! Please reward Their bread by giving generously


You can bracket the me and the charity here: 

http://www.bmycharity.com/tourdefrancetodd

. Any donation is greatly appreciated 

Thanks,




Todd