Tourmalet Weather Report: 12 Midday

22 Jul

The cows didn’t come out for their constitutional this morning.

Instead the familiar jangle of the bells was replaced by an incessant patter on the nylon tent roof which at the time of writing hasn’t let up for more than a few minutes at a time in 16 hours.

The cows may have foregone the delights of a soggy hill walk but it hasn’t deterred the fans hiking to the top since early morning.

The riders aren’t due up from the western side until five pm local time but the ultra zealous eastern based Tourmalet pilgrims can’t wait to bag their muddy perch for the big Andy versus Bertie showdown. Frankly you wouldn’t see this level of devotion down the road in Lourdes. The Vatican should consider signing a couple of GC contenders on endorsement deals…

The bus shuttles aren’t running today so it’s shanks mare or, hilariously, the ski lift which many are opting for. The quick rinse over the long soak? Maybe they’re right.

The constant stream of fans heading for the summit suggests that it’s going to be packed up there but most of the walkers slept in hotels or camper vans last night so the DS and I have made a corporate decision to leave our departure to the last minute. We’ve got better 3G signal here than we’d have at the top so we’ll enjoy the Eurosport guys for as long as possible (assuming they can get pictures) before striking out for the ‘roof’ of the tour.

Frankly last night was one long sustained advert for camping cars. The tent stood up to the abuse pretty well but my airbed suffered a blow out just after midnight which made for a pretty uncomfortable and fundamentally sleep free night.

I know the pros work hard for a living but I don’t want to hear any moaning about bunk beds or the lack of air conditioning today!

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