Finally the day had come, the day for which I focused most of my energy over the last year and to which I have devoted myself with body and soul. The previous weeks were quite busy with the physical and logistical preparation that a trip of this type requires. I slept four hours only before I went on the road towards Ferney-Voltaire in France.
The first minutes
I left at 6:05 in the morning of the 2nd of August 2014 .The weather did not seem to co-operate with me and so it started to rain just in the first 10 minutes. The first two hours went normally. After two hours we made a stop at Yana’s uncle place, who charitably treated us well with a very nice breakfast. After that, me and Patrick decided to meet at Kambly. As I already knew the way, I went ahead. I arrived at Kambly on time and there was no sign of Patrick. I waited 5, then 10, 15, 20, 25 minutes, at this point I started to get worried, I called him several times but nothing. I waited five more minutes, but as he did not answer my calls, I decided to start pedaling back because I thought something might have happened. 2 minutes after starting pedaling back, he called me and said he was distracted and did not notice the time passing by. I was so upset with situation that I decided to continue biking without him; if he wanted to meet me he would have to find me by himself. Only here we lost around 45 minutes to an hour.
With the uncle of Yana
After this unfortunate episode, we continued towards Bern. I arrived in Bern and we had another communication problem (it was not going well for the first day). We agreed to meet in a certain place but he was not there. Then we met and continued our journey. After 25 km of our last meeting, we stopped for our first lunch. We noticed that we forgot many things, like cutlery or a good knife (how could we forget this!). After lunch it was really nice, the weather was very good so I took the chance to make 57 km in two hours before reaching the slope before Lausanne. I call this slope, the ascent of death, why? Because it is a 30 km long slope (yes 30, you read it well). I had already done this slope two times before. I knew what to expect, but this time was much more difficult than I anticipated. Together with the difficulties of the slope itself, it started raining heavily accompanied with a strong wind set to pushing me back. It took me three long hours to go through this slope.
Once inside the rise
After the slope, it was time to find João Pedro Ramos and Vítor Gouveia at the University of Lausanne together, to do the last 50 km of the day. As I had already done 200 km, I went at a slower pace so we took a lot longer than normal. There were a few incidents but nothing special. Before arriving at Ferney-Voltaire, we passed by the UEFA headquarters in Nyon, where the Champions League trophy is (and many others).
On the left, the heroes of the day
We arrived late in Ferney-Voltaire, around 22:15 and Vítor had no house keys waiting for us. We were therefore waiting for the key to arrive under the rain and wind. At this point I was afraid that the rain and cold would make me sick. We finished dinner at half past midnight.
Arrival in France
Best of the Day:
No doubt the good time that we all had at the Victor’s home. Despite being sore we were all talking and having a good time.
Worst of the day:
Undoubtedly the slope of death, the one of 30 km which made me question everything. The slope destroys me mentally in a way that when I reached the end of the of it, I clenched my fist and yelled one resounding “Yes”
Distance traveled: 251 km
Total ascent: 3’800 meters
Time: 10 hours and 30 minutes
Average speed: 24 km/h