I really enjoyed following the penultimate stage (stage 19) of the Tour de France last Saturday. The final time trial is always exciting, but this one was particularly gripping. It would have been good if, on the last day there had been a challenge made on the 31 seconds that separated Alberto Contador, Cadel Evans and Levi Leipheimer. But as the tradition and etiquette goes, things were unlikely to change during stage 20. So this was the nearest we'd get to those exciting 8 seconds between Laurent Fignon and Greg Lemond in 1989.
With that, I didn't see much point in watching the last stage. But it sounds like thankfully, the stage was incident and scandal free - something which is a bonus these days ! We just wait with baited breath for the clean-out to continue.
I should've been at the Women's National Series circuit race at Sutton on Sunday. Unfortunately a number of reasons meant I wasn't able to go.
So that day, I did a very leisurely ride. Stanley and I rode out from South London to meet Kat in Weybridge. We all then went over to Holmbury St Mary (via Crocknorth Hill, near Ranmore) to watch a bit of cricket. It was very pleasant to relax in the woods there, watch the willow hit the leather, soak in the sun, while supping beer.
After the break it was then onwards to Cobham via Whitedown Hill. Not the easiest 18% to climb on a beer-filled stomach ! At Cobham, where we said "good bye" to Kat, Stan and I then forged ahead to get home before dark. It was a fast ride back - to Stoke d'Abernon and Oxhshott, through Epsom, over the downs, round Banstead and then back to Wallington. 60 miles on the clock. Not bad for a leisurely ride. We hadn't exactly motored round the route for we were carrying full panniers as a dry run for our upcoming Pyrenean trip. Even with the panniers we didn't fare too badly. But then Ranmore Common and Tourmalet are two different matters !
Once back home, I put my feet up and watched Le Tour highlights. Ok I wasn't that tired, but I was happy to rest up anyway - it had been a frantic week !