The Green Army: Corps to Digne
The Green Army are a team of seventeen cyclists, completing various stages of the London - Paris - Geneva - Nice cycling challenge. They are cycling in support of their good friend and colleague who has been diagnosed with lymphoma. To date, the team have raised in excess of £30,000 for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research through this event alone!
Day 3 - Corps to Digne
This was advised as the easiest day of the 4 and indeed turned out that way for most of us, albeit 90 miles long. The first part of the ride was a descent followed by a short climb and another descent, and then some relatively flat terrain. We were advised that drinks would be at 19 miles, but the DA guys didn't tell us that this would be at the top of the Col de Manse at 1260m elevation.
Those of us at the front hit the climb first, and encountered an initial steep section that lasted for about 2 miles. It flattened out a bit after that but still proved a challenging climb. We were grateful when we reached drinks. We became concerned after about 30 minutes as none of the riders behind us had arrived, and no one could be raised on a mobile. Eventually they all began to arrive, and it transpired that as they had just about reached the top of the climb Helen, the group leader, had driven up and advised them they had missed a turning and needed to go back down again. She soon realised she had made an error and had to tell them to ride back up again! Some did, whilst some refused and were given a lift in the van.
After drinks we enjoyed a fantastic descent into Gap and then mildly undulating terrain up until lunch.
After lunch a number of the Green Army plus some "guest" riders formed a chain and we swept through the French countryside rapidly ticking off another 12 miles.
The rest of the day was largely uneventful, with easy-ish riding through to the hotel. Only mishap occurred when Jenks lost his concentration and clipped a kerb resulting in a bit of a spill. No harm done other than a grazed knee.
Tomorrow we face the toughest day yet, with long steep climbs almost immediately after we leave the hotel. With over 90 miles to ride, we will face 60 pretty punishing ones followed by a 30+ mile descent into Nice. With that in mind everyone headed to bed early tonight, the serious drinking postponed until we climb off our bikes for good (or at least until the next ride) in Nice.
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