Final Day. We have arrived in Paris! The beautiful city of light.
Our spell of hot weather broke last night with rain in our last overnight stop at Beauvais for which we were all grateful, so we started our final ride today in a much more pleasant temperature. We had some more rolling hills today with one short sharpish one early on to get the blood pumping. Morning tea stop was in the town of Persan where the crew stocked us up with some delicious pain au chocolat and croissants from an excellent boulangerie.
There was one last optional lunch stop before the last short stretch to the spot in outer Paris where we were to meet the crew who were guiding us in groups through the last 12 or so kms to our hotel. We set off in two groups and our large peloton wound it’s way through the streets of Paris. We were quite a sight with everyone wearing their tour jerseys. We rode first to the Tuileries Garden to celebrate our triumph with a champagne toast within sight of the Eiffel Tower. The champagne was well shaken as Richard and I had carried it on our bikes since the lunch stop so the corks were certainly popping. Then it was back on the bikes for the final 3kms to the hotel. We offloaded our trusty wheeled steeds for the final time in a parking garage and followed the last chalk arrows on foot to the hotel.
We enjoyed our final night together with toasts, dinner, speeches and thanks in a local restaurant. Many thanks to our amazing crew of Enrico, Lisa, Roberto, Marten, Ronny, Loic and Jo for their fantastic organisational skills, care and good humour (and a special mention to Roberto’s moustache).
Now the planning starts for next year.
Stay tuned and see you out on the road somewhere!