Le Grand Bornand (prelude)

I’m at Le Grand Bornand ready for the race tomorrow (Sunday) morning. It’s going to be hard! It finishes with the Col de la Columbière – 3500m climbing over 148km. I’ll try not to bail out on a shorter course! There’s only between 300 and 400 participating over three courses – so I have a good chance of being last on the big course. It’s one of those races that only attracts nutters so if I ride slowly then I’m on my own! If I ride fast I’ll explode and still be on my own. I’m taking my earphones to listen to music – nature’s pain killer!
I will be wearing  “Macot La Plagne” colours tomorrow like the guy on the front left  – but won’t be quite so skinny or fast.
I’m going to sleep in the car tonight. Have located the public toilets so don’t have to use a potty! There’s a boulangerie open from 7 am so I can have an extra coffee. I’m planning on cooking porridge in the morning but might just go for a pain au raisin instead – a bit like someone going to an execution would choose his favourite “last meal”. 
Went out on my bike yesterday and still had nothing in my legs after Wednesday’s powerful workout. It seems to be the anaerobic excesses that knock me out for days – not the basic endurance workouts. I’ve done both my rides since Wednesday with nasal breathing so as to avoid metabolites and help with recovery. I think I’ll be okay for tomorrow morning. I’d like to use nasal breathing in the race but I’m concerned that I’ll find myself left at the starting gate if I do that. Either way I’m doomed before the end of it! 
I’ve been using the tiny Zefal “Air Control” CO2 valves for some time now and already lost two of them on the road due to not having them properly secured. Last time I bought two – one as a spare and the other kept on the bike on a CO2 bottle. Today I realised that I’ve lost the spare despite never having used it! These things are eminently loseable! I had to pop into a bike shop and buy another – this time one with the tiny red plastic collar that keeps the bottle from being punctured. I’d not have bothered but I was suspicious that I might have broken off the internal piercing mechanism in the one on the bike and needed another to look at to verify this (it was fine). Stopping for fuel and organic bananas plus an Air Control valve left me with a race to get to Le Grand Bornand with 10 minutes to spare to collect my dossard – meaning I don’t have to get up so early in the morning and do it then. This is a really nice place here – already busy with holiday makers.

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