Mike Simpson

Last Day Blues

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CCC2013 Stage Ten

Moustiers Ste Marie to Nice

172km with 3032m of climbing

What a start to the day through the Gorges du Verdon. The route is called the 'Corniche Sublime'. We are all in CCC kit except for Lothar.. It looks like we are his bodyguards protecting him. At the 10km timed climb of the Col de St Barnabe, I decide to light one afterburner and give my knee a real test. Not a steep climb and a tactical cat and mouse finish with Richard Scales cost us a fast time but it was good to work the lungs at last.

Then we had lunch in a field in long grass in the sunshine, pretty perfect. One rider had a tattoo on his leg, I'd seen it many times over the last 10 days but never actually read it. On the final day I read it and was amazed that it was an Ian Curtis (Joy Division) lyric. I rarely come across any other Joy Division fans let alone one with a tattoo, respect.

The day went all too quickly and I was feeling sad it was coming to an end. Back at our start hotel I hastily return the key from day one which had done all the 2050kms with us. What a trip, what great friends, I felt lost when not riding with Dave and Kelli. The CCC 2009 event changed what cycling and sport meant to me, and each subsequent trip has been special. I'll be eternally grateful to have met Claire and Phil Deeker, I've had the time of my life........again.

Click images to enlarge.