Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Pain - French for bread

Tour de Haut Var,
Founded by the Japanese in 1904, they named it Haut Var, which of course in Japanese means Suffering for all. 
I'm fairly sure these facts are some what accurate. Well, either way the last part is for sure. The weekends events at the Tour u Haut Var were filled with dizzying highs and sobering lows.  I think the entire team went into the race with an open mind and an eagerness to not only race but to take something away from this historic event. Some of us took away scrapes and bruises whiles others walked away with a sense of relief that the work they had done the last few months has paid off and they were ready to get the show on the road. I was somewhere in between... I didn't hit the deck and was actually quite happy with my road sharing abilities with the others in the race. A stark change from the usual go it alone training I've been used to for the last 3 months.

I would happily go into the in's and out's of the race with you, explaining how the course profile was about as accurate as a Ouija board or that Saturdays sunny skys and 20C was much more pleasant then the 6C rain and snow cover passes of Sundays parcours, I could even go as far as to say while I did get dropped both days I was dropped AFTER hard man Jens Voigt (little victories)... but that would all be pretty boring so I'll save you the time.

these 2 are pretty much famous
Just for the record I would like to point out that I called 2 things out in my pervious post. The first being that Thor Hushdov happened to be showing up and he did not disappoint, winning the first stage and nearly taking the whole show. Impressive climbing from a pretty big unit. The second and far bigger thing to point out was the rock solid showing of Lachy finishing 30th on Sunday. Obviously this isn't a podium or a top 10 but to be honest, the world wasn't built in a day and 30th is a hell of place to start the season. With 2 more big 1 days down here before we head back to Britain I'm excited to see how much we can all grow before we're done. I know all of us have the hunger to show that we belong at these races and that could just be enough to make that final kick and turn that 30th into a 15th, top 10..who knows?...Big things come from small beginnings.

For now the majority of the team are staying with our teammate Eric Berthou and his girlfriend Virginie. They have a beautiful home and since arriving I have really taken to the French lifestyle, dinner at 8:30 WITH dessert! To bed around midnight, up 9ish. Big breakfast with fresh still warm french bread ( they may just call it Bread here), coffee ride..with a view, an afternoon nap, perhaps another coffee...aaand then we're back to dinner. This IS livin! Oh, did I mention that Virginie is a professional Crepe chef and asspiring restauranteur/gourmet Chef! Needless to say meal time back Britain will be a little bland! We've been spoiled for the 3 nights and I think some of the best is yet to come..incroyable.
Clockwise: Matt, Evan, Mark'O, Virginie, Eric. Cheers!

I suppose I should probably do some real exercise tomorrow if for no other reason than to justify the caloric intake! If pain is french for Bread then I have had A LOT of pain this week and perhaps it's time to buckle down and earn some real pain. There some mountain looming in the distance, I'm sure I can find some french Pain there...

Stay tuned
So France.

Guard dog on duty.

Blessed art thou?

View from the hill where we're  staying

liberating stones from the beach for the house rock garden.

Evan demonstrating his knife skills...impressive this early in the morning

a delicious yogurt parfait for desert?? Why not!

Sorry Toby, you're out, Dafeny is in.

Euro plugs att heir finest

Proof that we ARE in fact capable of doing our own laundry with out our Souniers!

The kid showing off our new team bike for the classics

Virginie was nice enough to take us motorpacing on our rest day...fml.

The perfect breakfast perch.

Clockwise from top left: Fresh Crepe, Coaco power, peach jam, Fresh Pain, crunchy nutella, Muesli, Hasbean coffee, homemade carmel, more fresh crepe, and the most delicious pancake ever!

"can you sign this photo I have of you from 9 years ago?"

Everyone should have one of these! A professional crepe chef

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