A cold morning greeted the team as they set off across the Llivia plain on Day 4 of the 3 Countries Challenge.
Team leader, Jonathan Thomson reported:
“Our early ride was enlivened by the sharp retort of a front tyre exploding, and then by the Norwegian national cross-country ski team as they came down the road towards us on their improbable training devices, built on tiny rollers. We felt safer with our big wheels.
The stand-out challenge of the day was the ascent of the Port de Pailhères which stands at 6,564ft and contributed to overall stats for the day of 120km and 7,719ft of climb, but that was just part of the story. As we laboured on the winding road that took us up the Pailhères, each at our own speed, we passed through lovely beech forests, home to many wild creatures none more fearsome than the wild boar. Those big beasts would have sensed our presence as they sniffed the air with their sensitive snouts and decided we were unworthy prey. This would have been a sensible decision given the skinny and unappetising nature of most cyclists. We passed through their domain untroubled.
Tomorrow, more kms and more hills but a shorter day as we turn towards our start point in Luchon. We end the day near St Girons, the start point of one of the escape routes in WW2.”