Monday, 4 July 2011

Stage 3 Olonne sur Mer to Redon

The magnificent weather continues as we headed for the first sprint stage of this year's tour. Everyone was assuming that it would be a walk in the park for the Manx Missile but Cav's boys found themselves on the front way to early in the finale and he simply ran out of cattle. It was fantastic to see Tyler Farrar crack a Grand Tour stage after being so close in the Giro and not quite coming up with the goods. All credit to Thor Hushovd and the Garmin lead out train who really timed their run perfectly and had complete control right to the line.

Our Bikestyle Tours group had a beautiful 70 km ride this morning from Nantes to the Brittany seaside town of Pornic. We made good time with the help of a little tailwind and we were able to ride along a 20 km stretch of the course from St Philbert de Grand Lieu to Chauve. THe great part about riding the course before the race goes through is soaking up the real atmosphere generated by all the spectators who line the route from early in the morning, all with picnics, wine, beers, BBQ etc in toe. Everyone cheered us on as if we were the real deal......well we are in our little world anyway, which for those riding here for the first time is a real hoot.

Low tide at Pornic Harbour.

After some lunch in Pornic we mounted the bus and headed to the Intermediate Sprint point to catch the action at the great little town of St Hilaire de Chaleons. We were able to watch the race approach on tele from the comfort of a local pub and then nipped out for the obligatory snapshot and cheer. Even at this stage, it was clear that Thor Hushovd was working hard for his team to retain the yellow jersey and to make sure that the race came back together for the bunch sprint at Redon.

Once the roads were clear we headed off to our new hotel at the beautiful seaside town of St Malo. We arrived at 7pm and had a quick shower before heading off to a group dinner at great little local restaurant. What little I've seen of St Malo is absolutely beautiful. The residential architecture along the fabulous beach is quite spectacular, and I would say quite expensive? The food and wine was top shelf and we left the restaurant just after 10 pm to see a magnificent sunset to top off a great day.

A couple of other snaps along the beach at St Malo.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Pete, how amazing you are staying at St Malo!

    Rob, Jules and I stayed there when over there in 2009, at the most quaint little Hotel, top notch spot called "le Nautilus Hotel", and address is 9, rue de la Corne de Cerf - if you are near there?
    Walls were 4 foot thick in it, great furniture too. Down hill from it, at end of block and just around corner to right was the most amazing Creperie. Wow, could they produce some great food.. yes, we had the last day there and explored it properly before catching ferry to Jersey.
    Another good leg last night and Cadel still holding up. Great team :) Shaz.x