Wednesday, April 11, 2007

2006 PR - Saturday April 8th, 2006

On April 8th final preperations were under way. The teams used the mild weather and sun to pre-ride the course and take advantage of their last opportunity to learn the nuances of the pavé. Team mechanics began final equipment selections based on the anticipated weather forecast. JS and company headed out into the French countryside to ride the course and test both themselves and their equipment against the individual stones that make up the famous pavé of PR. JS shot this quick note back to HQ.

Cobbles were epic yesterday!!!

We left just after 9 and got to Troisville about 11am (got the GPS finally working – we forgot our maps back home, rush job) and found the route and hit the first section (#27 ) after about only 1K of smooth road to warm up... Ouch. Then it was on. Finding smooth bits, stopped at the third section to see a big concrete war bunker, the Phonak team caught us just after, then Joe flatted, we did a few more sections and the Disco boys rolled up, rode with them a bit and I chatted with George. We lost them when Joe had to stop and tighten his now loose cleats; we did a few more sections, tried to find a road back but after :30 failed minutes we just doubled back - adding two more sections we hadn't done, (#19 and #20)... I then flatted, and at this point we're about 3:30 into the ride and Joe, the current runner training for a 50K run, is bonky a bit after a few more sections and we finally find an open patisserie/market and maul 4 apple crisps, 4 bunny chews and 2 tiny cokes... Recharged we hit the last 4 sections, only I flat again on the rear (had only a 12g cartridge) and Joe gives me his 23mm wheel to continue and (hopefully) bring the car back. Note to self - have 3 tubes and 3 cartridges EACH - and 25mm tires - which I had. I knew the teams rode 25’s from RTP/Postal but Joe decided to go with just 23s, 2mm makes a difference amazingly enough...*

So, I end up blasting back, a little over 5 hours riding - almost 6 with punctures, pedal issue and food stop... We think about 130K, about 30.7K in cobble for me: 7 sections out, 8 return. And who says no climbing?, we did over 3000 feet of rolling vert today..

We wanted to do another set in the middle today, Arenburg to Cysong, and double back again ... But ended up sleeping hard and late, 9, and chatted with the teams a bit this morning, then rolled into town and the first 25K out and back of the race route from Compeigne here – so an excuse to come back for sure. I really really loved the cobbles – being more from MTB and riding ‘cross really helped me over Joe big time I think (he said it was 10X worse than he expected, not smooth like the ones in A’dam)... You just have to go fast and roll, stay loose... As you may know. But some sections were bone shakers for sure, can’t image wet. Ouch.

(*Cancellara rode 27s on his Cervelo)

Flat number 2 on Pavé Sector 26
Viesly at Quiévy, France

Photo courtesy JS

Originally posted on November 27, 2006, 10:00 AM


Anonymous said...

That's me fixing my puncture. Usually I'm of the firm belief that arm warmers should not show any skin around the upper arms unless they are slid down around the wrists. On this occation the cobbles literally shook them down.

They also shook my Speedplay cleats loose [lucky someone at CSC had a pot of loctite].

If you think you know had bad cobbles can get. think again. There aren't normal cobbles and no photo I have ever seen has done them justice. imagine 100,000 motorbike helmets lined up.

It is crazy.

Anonymous said...

What saddle is that?