Stage 7 – Revel
This was a sprinting stage, but it had a little 2 kilometer kicker near the end. It was unlikely we were going to get on TV, but i figured that we are in France anyways and you miss all the shots you don’t take, so why not at least try?
So getting on TV was our main goal, but a close second was to fill up on supplies before entering the dreaded Pyrenees. From Revel we hit 4 Pyrenean stages and a rest day, and there was a good chance we’d not encounter any gas stations or stores that were open by the time we finally got done with the stage. We badly needed food, water and gas. We were also in need of a bathroom. Finding a public bathroom in France is harder than getting on TV. And finding one with toilet paper? Its like winning the lottery. So, it was a funny coincidence that the store that met all of our needs and more was named “Casino”.
Casino is a Walmart-Lite. Very lite. But after dealing with gas stations that only took French credit cards and stores that closed at 5 pm, this was manna from heaven. It had all the food we needed, a section where Lei could get a blanket since he had forgotten to bring a sleeping bag (he was getting tired of spooning with me to stay warm) beer, gas, water and best of all a public restroom WITH toilet paper.
We filled up (and emptied out) and then walked up to the hill. On the course I met two couples from America and they mentioned they had seen us on TV. Cool! I gave them a few bottles and they helped me suit up and away we went.
It was about a 6% climb but the riders were FLYING up it, going at least 20 miles an hour. How they can do that after riding 100 miles is beyond me.
We then hit the road for the ski resort of Ax 3. It was a beautiful drive, with miles and miles of sunflower plants in full bloom, just like you see on TV.
Unfortunately I also had a bit of a run in. A parked car jumped out from the middle of nowwhere and sideswiped the campervan. These campervans are the bane of my existence. They are so damn wide and bulky! Next year it is mini-van all the way!
Thanks for reading.