After 8 hours in the saddle I pass the Flange rouge. 1km to go. I switch to the big ring. 52-20 90rpm and 400 watts. I swallow up the last 200m. Ahead of me a rider who has been ahead of me all day meanders from side to side, his bike making little progress toward the line. I glide past him. His distressed and disorientated head is tilted as it turns drunkenly towards me.
“I love you bendy bike”
He sighs at my Helix frame.
I cross the timing mat and look down at the town of Cortina d’Ampezzo.
In 1982 my uncle Maurice arrived at my home in his brand new Ford Cortina- I was filled with awe at its high tech luxury. The highlight was the in car coffee maker. Fresh luke warm tea or coffe in less than 47 minutes!
Today I arrive in triumph at the town named after that car. My finest day on a bike. I am in ecstacy.
My achievement matched only by the 212 riders who finished ahead of me.