7.TwentyThree.20Ten

Who knew?!  Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz were staying at our hotel in Bordeaux (very, very luxurious accommodations…including fresh crepes for breakfast!)!  Although, I truly do not like either actor I was still hoping for a celebrity sighting… a few in our group got photos with Tom (after “stalking” his room floor).  We just saw the crowds outside of the hotel and had a delay to the start of our bike ride due to “security issues”.  We were unable to access specific elevators to get our bikes while Tom C. was either arriving or leaving.  So our morning ride along the time trail (TT) course (stage 19) was delayed over an hour.  Max kindly rode with me this day even though there was a group of guys riding in the “fast” pack that Max easily could have put to shame.  The country side of Bordeaux was incredible… fields of grapes and sunflowers; left and right of us… with huge chateaus off in the distance!

Not counting our first night of riding in the dark and rain, this was my first time on the bike doing one of the actual stages of the tour.  I was a bit nervous because it was 30 miles out and 30 miles back if we choose to ride both directions.  Being prideful… and not wanting to be the one that turns back, I pushed myself.  We had an excellent ride to Pouillac.  Max led us in Team Time Trial (TTT) formation as there was a strong headwind the entire time so we drafted…or tried to.  In Pouillac, we stopped for lunch and wine!!  The ride back was supposed to take us to one of the vineyards for more wine; however with our morning delay (thanks Tom) most of our group was trying to get back to Bordeaux to see the finish of stage 18 in town.  As I got back on my bike, I realized I was in over my head.  I rode with Max and made it about halfway back before succumbing to the sag wagon.  Fortunately, the driver of the sag wagon was very kind.  He spoke very little English but knew that I was upset that I could not make it in on the bike.  He made several jokes in broken English in attempts to make me feel better which it did.  All in all… I completed about 45 miles of the ride.  Max did a solo TT ride the rest of the way (with Molly praying he would make it back okay) and had lots of fun as many campers on the side of the road cheered his effort.  Next time we are in Bordeaux we will stop along the way and visit several of the wineries! 

After returning to Bordeaux, we were treated to a nice dinner at our hotel (although we had to wait on our wines as the ‘A’ staff was helping Lance Armstrong…who was also staying at our hotel…so we were relegated to the ‘B’ staff).  After dinner, one of our tour guides (who lives in Bordeaux) took several of us out to a pub.  We had an absolute blast with our group!  Our lead guide (and tour company owner) Ryan was a riot as we enjoyed several rounds of shots and (not Bud Light) beer.  Around 2:30am, our group moved from the pub to a night club for dancing, but we opted to head back to our hotel for some 3:00am room service.

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