Lanterne rouge

You’re probably wondering how I fared in “The Gentleman”.  That Friday evening I had a call from M le President (yes, that’s what we call him).  He asked me whether I was riding the short or the long course on Sunday. I said I had thought that as a mixed pairing we would be riding the short course. It appears that my partner had also volunteered to ride with one of the youngsters on the short course and therefore we would have to ride the longer one. No problem, I said. Of course, I had been training all week for the short course. Truth be told, I wasn’t sure I could hold my top speed for another 13km, even though I was getting a tow!

That evening I checked out the start list for Sunday and found that there were NO all-female teams! So, if I had managed to find a female partner the trophy would have been ours. Instead, all the girls had teamed up with chaps and were mostly riding the short parcours. That’s right; you know when they say “you should be careful what you wish for? Well, I was riding in the 100+ category with all the two-man teams. Either we were going to be last in that category or first in a category of our own.

Last minute team talk
Last minute team talk

My partner had only enough time to change the number on his back after completing the short parcours, where he and his partner turned in the fastest time in their category, before we were off into the strong headwind. What can I say? We finished strongly, my partner was hugely supportive and rode the perfect race, but I could have gone faster. We finished last. I wonder what we might have achieved if only we’d trained beforehand.

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