Race day dawned sunny and beautiful, with enough of a breeze to make the flags fly well.
There was one campervan behind us in our great little pullout, as well as several cars that had arrived during the morning. The lady in the campervan warned Colin to wear a hat and indicated we should be careful of the sun – good advice, of course. I had already smeared shea butter on my forearms, back of the neck and top of my ears (more on that later).
As usual for the Individual Time Trial many of the riders took a re-con ride around the course throughout the morning.
Also as usual at the Tour the Caravan was eagerly awaited by all…
It arrived a bit late, but was worth the wait…
It was even bigger and better than ever, and we cleaned up on goodies…
Including several packets of the doggies’ favourite sausage treats…
Third off the line in the ITT was Mark Cavendish – having tied the great Eddy Merckx’s TDF stage record earlier in the week it’s not likely he’ll break it today, although he’s not a bad time trialer.
It was easy to tell whenever a French racer was approaching as the crowds before us would go crazy.
We’re a bit concerned for a couple of fans just down from us – they keep taking off their shirts and seem unbothered by the fact that they might look like lobsters tomorrow.
As soon as the last rider – current overall leader Tadej Pogacar – passed I ran to our neighbour’s campervan where they had the race on tv.
Wout van Aert won!
And almost better the young 2nd overall Danish rider Jonas Vingegaard was so fast he almost caught up to 3rd place overall Richard Carapaz. That would have been sweet!
We had contemplated staying another night but the traffic didn’t seem to be backed up too badly so we decided to get back to Mansle. The drive was better than expected and we were home in good time.
The next morning I realized what I had missed when applying the shea butter to protect from the sun – my forehead and upper chest were bright red. I look like a raccoon – or maybe the elusive red panda (and I don’t mean the small Italian car!).