Day 1 Raid Pyrenean

A 160 ride with 2200m of ascent, and that was the "easy" day. Oh boy.

The photo was taken just before 9am this morning at Hendaye on the Atlantic coast and show our twenty-strong (strong?) team. Except for the two who didn't want to get sand in their shoes.

There's a real fast group and then... everyone else. On the flat-ish stretches we fall into small groups and work together, drafting, so we canter along at a fair clip.

Liz joined me for lunch in St Jean Pied de Port where we rode last year. She'll tackle some day rides there while we Raiders press on to the Med.

Tomorrow will see the start of the big cols, but some are still closed by snow. As long as we climb the ones specified by the Cyclo Club Bearnais, they don't care what route we take to reach them.

In an hour or so we'll learn what cunning plan our Marmot Tours team have devised so we can complete a successful Raid.

I fear a long detour might be called for. The easy days are over for sure.

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