If any readers were racing in the Etape on Monday, wasn't the Ventoux as hot as Hell? I've never seen as many strong, fit looking people staggering along pushing their bikes, sitting by the side of the road head in hands, or just lying semi conscious in the trees.
Lance Armstrong always used to say "It's not about the bike" when journalists inevitably started asking him about his bicycle, rather than his training and preparation. The meaning of this was hammered home to me, struggling up that damned mountain under a baking sun. Still at least I didn't die there like Tom Simpson in 1967 or collapse at the top like Eddy Merckx in 1970. (Although I felt like emulating both of them)
The Pros tackle the same route in the Tour de France on Saturday (hopefully Bradley Wiggins will grit his teeth, climb like a madman and end up on the podium in Paris) and you can watch it on ITV4, unless like me you are a digital dinosaur and didn't even realise such a station existed. An enthusiastic sweepstake is currently taking place on how many minutes Armstrong beats my time by. If you want to enter, here's a tip- don't go for a low number.
Sorry to keep adding to this post, but does anyone know whether the man with the artificial leg made it, or the couple riding a tandem? The water station at Chalet Reynard on Ventoux that had run out of water was a bit dispiriting, as was the huge traffic jam later down to Malaucene. I descended by bike, throwing caution to the wind with all the excitement; flying past the stationary cars and completely forgetting that the road was now open. This foolishness resulted in me very nearly being wiped out by an ambulance making its way up the Mountain (Which would have been an extremely amusing irony and definitely one of the top ways I would like to croak, if given the choice)