Spot on

So many things in life are about being in the right place, at the right time. You may not even be the best person for the job, but proximity is everything. If you’re the first person someone senior sees soon after they’ve had the thought or idea, then you may well find that an unexpected opportunity falls into your lap.

This has happened to me on several occasions, most notably being put in charge of my previous employer’s search for new premises in which I led the team that ultimately acquired the site, and planning permission, for the iconic Erotic Gherkin. On a more sombre note, my family and I missed the Harrods bomb by mere minutes. So it’s fair to say that, of course, you can be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Today, as forecast, the rain stopped and the sunshine came out from behind those sombre clouds, bathing the littoral in sunshine. I went out at about 11 o’clock. At about the same time most of the club rides were returning to base. I bumped into my English friends who ride for another club: first, the husband and then, a bit later, my girlfriend. They’ve both been back in the UK for a while so it was good to see them again.

Rather than do battle with the traffic in Cannes, I decided to do my circuit of Cap d’Antibes. After two circumnavigations, one clockwise and one anti, I criss-cross the Cap riding up and down some short steep climbs. Although my lungs are still a bit congested, I feel my strength is returning and I’m finding the larger gear (39 rather than 34) ensures I ride at a better pace.

On the way back home, as I took the roundabout leading  to Antibes, four riders overtook me. The leading rider shouted “Allez” in my ear. Not a good move: I don’t like surprises, and I almost toppled from my bike into their path. With one foul swoop, the early seasons of PhilGil and Pippo Pozzato would have lain in ruins. Luckily for them, I didn’t fall, but I did decide to give chase.

They got tangled up in the market traffic going back through Antibes and I overtook them (2000 points, 1000 apiece for a Pro Tour rider). They then overtook me (again) and I grabbed the last man’s wheel as we rode through Antibes and back along the coast towards Villeneuve Loubet.  So, I had a rather better work out than I had anticipated. How good? I’ve no idea, I still have to go down to my LBS to get the Garmin fitted on the bike.

I’m now hoping the fine weather persists so we can enjoy tomorrow’s club ride with a pointage at Nice Matin (a stone’s throw from the club), before we head to Aspremont. The forecast is for more rain tomorrow afternoon and Monday with the sunshine making a welcome return on Tuesday. Let’s hope it’s right.

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