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Well here we go....

All packed, car loaded, tapering and worrying. I couldn't fit my race wheels and Powertap into the bike bags so had to deliberate long and hard on which was coming with me. Should I take the PT so I can keep a watchfull eye on my power output on the day? Would it be better just to go all out and forget about power? Would I get the pacing right without it? Wouldn't it be better just to hit pain and work through it? The race wheels are lighter, more responsive and stiffer, that would help on the day?

I left the powertap at home.

So, we fly to Grenoble tomorrow, and have an afternoon to unpack and build bikes etc. Then on Monday we're out for a bit of shopping and a light spin to loosen up the legs and get out into the surrounding countryside.

Then the serious stuff begins;
  • Tuesday 3rd - Alpe D'Huez TT - Lone ride against the clock hard as possible. Followed by rest then spin down and do it again with the missus taking photos along the way. Rest of the day to mill about and get back to Grenoble for birthday dinner etc.
  • Wednesday 4th - Lac Luittel - A scenice ride out to Sechillienne and tackle my arch nemesis from last year.
  • Thursday 5th - Mont Ventoux - Drive a fair whack down to Provence then a couple of hours of pain ascending the "Giant". If it goes well I might think about doing all 3 climbs (but that is most unlikely!).

Then Friday we return to Blighty.

A bit of radio silence may ensue between now and Friday - rest assured I will be posting the outcomes - regardless of the outcome.

Thanks to everyone for your kind words and support since October -- I know they will make the difference when I'm in pain and digging deep... hopefully after 20 minutes not 5 !!!!

GOOD LUCK TO EVERYONE AT ETAPE ANGLAIS ON SUNDAY! [Sitting here Sunday at 05:45 the weather is looking fantastic - ride safe and enjoy]

Cheers, Mark

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