You may recall that my modest ambition for La Ronde was to be lapped fewer times than last year. The circuit starts and finishes with a climb which takes in three left hand turns, two at roundabouts. I was dropped by the peloton just before the finish line on the first of nine circuits, again an improvement on last year.
Unfortunately, this year it was both hotter and windier, so being able to stay in the peloton would have been a big advantage, if only for a few circuits. Nonetheless, I ploughed on alone, only pulling over when being overtaken, so as not to hinder any of the faster riders ie everyone else. But they only overtook me TWICE.
To keep myself amused while riding on my own I tried to recall all 37 hit tunes from the Abba greatest hits album which my better half had played over and over again the previous day. I managed all 37, but then I do have an elephantine memory.
Of course, one advantage of riding on one’s own is that you get loads of encouragement from your clubmates, course officials and general spectators. The president elect (and my partner from The Gentleman) used the megaphone to encourage me every time I approached the finish line. I even heard one small spectator tell his Dad that it was just like watching The Tour!
After the race, I doubled up as a podium girl. I’m at an age where I never pass up an opportunity to kiss a few fit, young guys. I even muscled in on the winners photo which was published in our local newspaper. For information, the gentleman clutching my hand is a team mate who’s kindly helping me with my fund raising.