80 miles; 5hrs; 4,651 calories, 685m ascent
Despite slightly less mileage, the day is a challenging one with three short sections of pave (cobbles) to overcome. The jarring is unbelievably uncomfortable and the potholed gutters either side bring little respite. Utter respect to the pros who race over this surface for over 100km.
The reward for toughing this out is two laps around the steeply banked Roubaix velodrome, attempting to emulate the many great cyclists that have gone before.
Eamonn is picking up nicknames by the score including Angry Eamonn and the Wizened and Haughty One. He is also demonstrating his keeness to become the brakeman for the Irish bobsleigh team with some stunning emergency stops mid group.
Ian repeats Eamonn’s mistake of seeing the physio with his hurt shoulder. Gets similar treatment and is told to man-up and start lifting weights to rebuild the wasted muscles, otherwise it’ll never get better. Ian has also developed blisters on his right hand but didn’t mention this to the physio. He is missing Jacky.
Group six has another rename to group sex (it is French you know).
Mike in the Roubaix Velodrome