Looking at today's stage also brought home to me how long and hilly it is. This is the route for next Sunday's etape, the one that I am signed up to do. So I have decided to seek sponsorship in support of Roadpeace, a charity I have mentioned before on these pages.
For the past 18 years one of the mountain stages of the Tour de France has been available for amateurs to ride. The popularity of the event is such that the organisers this year have arranged two Etapes. The first, held tomorrow, on the Modane - Alpe d'Huez stage covering 109 km, will be the shortest in history. This is the same stage the pros will ride in stage 19 on July 22. The second Etape for 2011, on July 17, will be the longest in history, covering 209 km, from Issoire to Saint Flour in the Massif Central (south of Clermont Ferrand). The pros have just ridden this stage today in stage 9 of the Tour and this is the stage I am riding. In addition to being long it is very hilly with 8 categorised climbs. It will possibly be the hardest day of cycling I have done.
Please consider sponsoring me at http://www.justgiving.com/Martin-Porter0