After Klassica Primavera I did another two classics in France. These were in Brittany and we were to go by car. This trip is about 2000km and the car journey is tiresome enough, yet along the 200km long races. As luck would have it, the planes were grounded due to Eyjafjallajökull. That volcano miles away that seemed to affect most of Europe. It made me give credence to the "Butterfly Effect". We were going by car anyway.
The races were Tour du Finistere and Tro Bro Leon. Both races are category 1.1, which means they are of a high standard.
Finistere actually went very well give everything. My team and I aren't used to this sort of racing by any means and the fact we all finished this race well is a big credit. I unfortunately stuttered a bit when the race split after a nasty little climb and didn't go in the final break. Which was a shame because I felt very capable. The door of opportunity in these situations is open only very briefly. The race in itself was hard, but not overly so. The nordic are a bit more aggressive at fighting for position in the peleton and like to attack incessantly, which is good. Far worse is being bored to death by a race controlled ticking a long at an average pace
Tro Bro Leon is an amazing race and it was a huge pleasure to take part.
This race is a little (200km) copy of Paris-Roubaix and takes in several dirt tracks sections totaling 30 odd kilometers. It start and end in the village of Lannilis in Brittany and takes in very beautiful scenery, these dirt tracks intersecting the most rural countryside and even taking in quite a bit of the coast. It was interesting to note all the Gaelic prefixes in the words, and sign posts to hill forts and the like. The place feels most definitely Celtic; cold, windswept and green.
My team coming from the Algarve was woefully unprepared. The equipment needed for this race is a bit different to the standard and we went on standard tires and only had one support vehicle, when we needed two, to have spare wheels at each dirt track section. I punctured about halfway through. I had to wait a long while for a wheel change. As well as this I should have finished the section punctured, but didn't. Anyway. I had to chase for 50 min alone till I reached the peleton. This was a massive effort and pretty much shot the engine. I don't know what speed I was going, but given I had lost minutes and caught a very fast moving race; that was quite some individual TT I did. Needless to say, when I got caught behind a crash 20 more k down the road I called it quits and went on direct to the stage finish at Lanilis by myself. I later found Rob Hayles and a team mate of his for company.