Five in the morning on the coach to Pau for the start. Driving through Lourdes.

I feel less nervous than usual but still am pacing and have checked my gear eleven times. Everyone seems sick with nerves. The pallor from the sun block mixes  with sweat, it reminds me of patients in shock. Tension is worse than I have ever noticed before. There is silence. Then we can all hear the ‘eye off the tiger’ coming from someone’s headphones . Big laugh-tension broken. Then someone tells a story about an egg eating body builder from work. Another laugh .Silence descends again.

Tension returns. Now better check that I have my…..


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