Stage 2 – A day of hill climbs

Saturday 5th July – York to Sheffield

Heard heavy rain on waking this morning which wasn’t encouraging but

by the time we got up it was easing off and Dave’s early morning weather

check looked optimistic.  We had to take a roundabout route to the start in

York due to roads being shut around Leeds for todays official Stage 1, but

found the Racecourse and had a photoshoot outside the disused Terry’s chocolate

factory. Have spent the last couple of weeks reading articles about the severity of

Stage 2, (‘as much climbing as in the Alps…’), so with day 2 muscle stiffness/aches

we were bracing ourselves for a very challenging day.   It was bloomin’ tough, but

the drier and warmer weather made a huge difference to our morale, (and that of

Ali, our back-up van driver!).  She spotted a poster outside the Baptist Church in

Hebdon Bridge which read ‘The End is NOT nigh – 108 km to go’!.  Ali is doing this

weekend’s support on her own which she is finding quite nerve-wracking,

(especially the lack of a rear-view mirror for backing out of tight spaces…).  No mishaps

so far…. We played cat and mouse all day with a large group of riders in polka dot jerseys

– riding the ‘Tour of Yorkshire’. We ended up together at the end of the

day, all lost in the middle of Sheffield.  The city finishes involve a random circuit to add a few

extra miles before the home straight. ‘We’re just coming into Sheffield’ message to Ali actually

meant ‘ Don’t expect us for another 45 minutes..’  Didn’t finish until 8.30pm and then had

to get the bikes in the van quickly and head off to Cambridge.  We haven’t yet been able to

follow our trainer’s advice to have a short stroll after finishing…  Looking forward to a flatter

and slightly shorter stage tomorrow.



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