Headline: Climbing muscles get a rest day on flattest stage
Route: Ludlow to Haydock
Cycling time: 7.43.08 on the road, 6.37 ride time. No that much time at food stops, honestly, as there were a lot of red lights
Average speed: 16.45mph- cracking!
Total ascent: 3062ft
Weather: Warm and only light winds. The heavens opened just when we arrived, so wet camping
Today was certainly a rest day for the climbing legs with no significant ascents. Still a tiring day as most of us treated it like a long, fast club run; working in groups to keep the pace up. I was in a group with five others for the whole day which worked really well, sharing the work at the front and getting used to each other’s pace. One rider was a priest from Bristol, raising money for charities in his parish; I reckon he brought us good fortune as no mishaps apart from a wasp sting.
Flatsville didn’t make for dull riding. There was a decent climb early on over Wenlock Edge past the pretty Wilderhope Manor. Then we raced along the River Tern battling against school buses, then making our way through the narrow Shropshire lanes towards Nantwich, negotiating tractors. Our final destination was the Haydock Race Course where we were greeted with forked lightening and an opening of the heavens. Pleased we were not drenched during the ride, but it made for a soggy night’s camping.
Although the legs were good today, I felt a deep down accumulative fatigue. There were times when the sun was out and I was yawning so widely my jaw ached. When we past haystacks in fields, I just felt like getting off the bike and having a nap in the hay. Oh well, got a little, rain-covered tent for that.
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