Le Loop 2018 - Stage 1: Noirmoutier-en-L'ile - Fontenay-le-Comte

Possibly the flattest tour stage I have ever ridden; a quick day considering it was 203km by the time we rode into our unusual accommodation (a first time I am told of staying in a boarding school)..... flat it may have been but also a day where you made sure you rode in a group and in some cases where people tried, the wind put paid to any thoughts of a solo ride.......I have talked before about "hair dryer" rides but this was turbo charged heat to the extent that in a drop and say 20m vertical ascent through a village 20km from the end, a number of riders said it was like hitting a wall!

Stage 1, the plan had been to ride easy and of course on the day I set a new heart rate maximum for the year and perhaps in that one sentiment you get a feel for the demands of the day.... there were some wide open roads with 90 degree turns; given the right wind and the pros could have a tough day..... number of riders today saying a Sagan day rather than pure sprint - the weather and the circuit will decide!!

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