Covid 19 – A Personal Message21st July 2020
Covid 19 and Your Cycling Holiday28th September 2020
TDF in the Pyrenees
We weren't expecting that much from this year's TDF. Only 2 stages in the Pyrenees, none of the usual favourite climbs... and on top of that the delay due to Covid-19 and all the new restrictions in place, so when we took 3 bookngs for the TDF long weekend, we were delighted!
The Tour passed through our area for stages 8 and 9 and from day 1 of the race, it became obvious that it was (of course, we should never have doubted), going to be spectacular.
After some warm-up rides on the Friday, we headed to Loudenvielle for a stage finish the following day, and found a perfect spot just 2km from the finish line on the bend with the final little kick up before the road sweeps down again into Loudenvielle. From there we were well placed to see the riders up close as they rounded the bend and could see the struggle on their faces as they reached the end of a short but tough day in the mountains. First to arrive was Nans Peters, soloing to the fish with a remarkable 47 second lead. And then we heard the news that Pinot had been dropped on the climb; when he did pass by, he was several minutes down and riding with his whole team for support. Tadej Pogacar attacked with 5km to go and seemed to fly past us and although Yates remained in yellow heading into the second of the Pyrenean stages he was distanced several times and swept by us all alone.Sunday's stage was an almost stage start, as we found ourselves a quiet spot to watch the tour speed by just before the first categorised climb of the day. And it was at speed that they arrived - a blink and you might miss it moment, with (we think), De Gendt, Cosnefroy, Hirschi and Schachmann leading the pack. We were glad to have found a great little bar to chill in in between the caravan and race and we also had time to wander over to the Heliport field to see the TDF helicopters in action. Then, it was time for a BBQ luch at the bar before heading back to AYP to watch the rest of the stage. Roglic took the race leaders Yellow Jersey in Laruns, but it was Pogacar who won the stage in a close sprint finish between himself, Hirschi (who had lead the stage for 80km) and Roglic. Yates slipped down to 8th overall and finished 54 seconds down and as we sat down to dinner that evening, there was no doubt in our minds' that it was going to be either Roglic or Pogacar who would take the eventual race victory in Paris.As always, it was great to see the Tour in the Pyrenees, and even better after such a strange year to welcome guests to AYP and to watch the Tour with them. Thanks to Nikki for the review and to Ian, Pete and Nikki for their great company.
I just wanted to send you a little note to thank you for looking after us so well when we stayed with you for the TdF weekend. As we have come to expect from you, we were extremely well looked after, well fed with delicious meals and taken to see the tour from places on the route where we got to see plenty of action yet still felt safe and not crowded. Your home is a lovely place to chill out and relax and your dog is a poppet. You both work extremely hard to make sure the needs of your guests are met and yet you appear to be calm and relaxed all the time. You always have time to spend with us yet seem to instinctively know when to leave us in peace. A truly professional set up.
We are excited to be welcoming guests back to Allons-y-Pyrenees after a very strange season, and are looking forward to lots of new adventures.
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