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This will be short… Due to EE’s incompetence, I cannot get data roaming added to my account, so am limited to the WiFi in the hotel’s cafe.

Yesterday was tough day. Col d’osquich, col de Marie blanc, and two thirds of col d’aubisque… Spread across 122 miles.

Halfway up the 9km col de Marie blanc, the thunder started to roll around the clouds and before long the rain was trying hard to wash the despondency from my soul.

A high pace central section had depleted my legs, but more of a problem was the pain in my knees on every pedal stroke. Ibuprofen dented the pain slightly… But by the time I got to the top I was defeated and climbed into our support van.

The day started well, with fantastic roads and the rolling foothills slipping

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past. Fantastic weather, neither too hot or to cold meant that we had views but weren’t being baked by the sun.

Highlights of the day included numerous detours to follow cyclocross-like off-road sections, rutted gravel tracks and even a stream bed. None of this was required… Just a result of overly optimistic ridewithgps cycle path routing. Today we’re sticking to roads.

More photos and stories will appear later, but we have to get set for today’s cols… Aubisque, Tourmalet, Aspin and Peyresourde. Less distance but more climbing. Hopefully the ibuprofen will allow me to continue…

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