Criterium du Dauphine Libere — Stage 3

Anneryron to Anneryron TT

Don’t they know teams are coming with a big vehicle?

Johan, Eki, Chris and 4 riders went early to the TT to do some recon of the course. After they did a lap of the TT, they returned to the hotel to have lunch. Chris waited there with the TT bikes they just did the pre-ride with. Chris also saved us a good parking spot while waiting. Craig and I would go well before our first rider and meet up with Chris and park the truck and get set up.

What a crazy route we had to take to get to the TT. It was only about 25 or 30 K to get to the TT. But after only 10k we came upon a small village. There the roads were so narrow, we had to stop twice. Then we would pull as far to the right as possible, so that cars could pass. Then we got to a one lane bridge. And with the truck NOT being speedy off the line, it took a while for us to get a gap in traffic JUST TO CROSS the cross the bridge. I almost wanted to get out, walk across the bridge and stop traffic. But after a few minutes traffic had a gap and we finally crossed the bridge.

Then, as we got close to the course, we started to see the PPO signs. PPO means Point Passage Obligatory. Or the mandatory direction for team vehicles. Although some of the signs were not 100%clear as to which way to go. The last 5k or so were on tiny farm roads. Barely wide enough for our truck. And when a car came the other way, it was a squeeze to pass each other. The cars would fold in their mirrors just to get by our truck. And to top it off, the roads were up and down and twisty. So, getting a visual for oncoming traffic was also a challenge. But we made it. Only to see an intersection we passed earlier. If we had taken that particular intersection, and turned there, we could have cut out some of the narrow farm roads part of the PPO. Don’t they know teams are coming with a big vehicle?

It was baking hot today. And I usually hold out and try not to wear short pants at all cost. Call me crazy, but I just like the look of long pants versus short pants. Kind of looks more professional in my opinion. And today I held out wearing shorts once again. But it was so hot my legs were sweating a lot. Add to that my jeans were not so loose. Am I getting fat again?

Finally I had to go in the car with Eki to follow Levi in the TT. My jeans were totally sticking to my legs. So bad that I was worried that I could not run very fast if I had to jump out of the car for service. It was like my legs were mummified. After a while the air conditioning helped and my legs stopped sweating and finally my jeans stopped sticking to my legs. Whew!!!!


Owner of and long time professional race mechanic.