61 miles; 4hrs 30mins; 3,375 calories; 860m ascent
Despite only 61 miles, the OF&D team find it hard going; the combination of hill work, stiff legs and having backsides that resemble baboons’ take their toll. Ray executes his cunning plan of shearing off his rear dérailleur at the foot of Wrotham hill (a gruelling 20% climb) and has to call assistance. He turns up at Woolwich ferry on one of Halford’s Boardman bikes looking suspiciously fresh but swears he’s ridden the whole way rather than taking the option of getting a lift.
We’re joined by lots of the other stage riders for the final few miles in to Stratford. A fantastic spectacle for the crowds lining the roads as 200 riders make their way through friendly traffic to the Westfield Centre finish.
Bubbly and hog-roasts at the roadside start the welcome celebrations.
A nice trip to the Stoop for the Amlin cup final caps off the trip.
Memorable references (you’ll have to ask us in the bar):
– The bus shelter
– Japanese flag
– Hugh plays dead on cobbles
– Purchase, chamfered and flange
– Salty suspension