By now the 300 mile in 3 days ethos is really ingrained, experienced and stronger riders help those making the tour for the first time, taking big turns on the front, chaperoning those with mechanicals back to the group. Saying that, the competitive spirit isn’t completely absent with some fast run ins or ‘rushes of blood to the head’ moments when the breakaway gets away.
First there’s the well ridden road to Dover to knock off, we take the scenic route from London that includes some killer hills with Cheriton Hill above the Chunnel Terminal being the meanest, it’s a monster but the view from the top almost makes it worthwhile… almost. Despite the hills, judging by the tailbacks into Dover below us – bike was the best way to travel.
Whilst those with sunburn from the day before regret it as the temperatures hit 40 degrees and without a cloud in the sky until storm hit and nearly washed the tour of the road Day 2 was in danger of not meeting the ‘Day 2’ notoriety qualification criteria. The storm – which included a twister sighting made sure that it did.
Day 3 was as close to a perfect days riding as you could imagine, hot but not too hot, sunny but not too sunny, with racing cows and car-less roads through pristine champagne regions countryside. With Reims magnificent cathedral as our Finish line beacon, visible from miles away in the clear blue skies, the 24 riders rode into town as one relaxed and happy peloton.
Reims and of course it’s champagne was the most welcome finishing venues. It’s tempting to to just keep to riding back to Reims over and over again.
Thanks to Mark Drysdale for the GoPro footage, check it out below!