Tour de France…Stage 7

Today’s stage looks to show respect to “the oldest bike race”, namely the 1223 km Paris-Brest-Paris. Nowadays, PBP is an amateur affair which is held every four years and attracts a field of around 5,000 riders from over 30 countries.

The event has a special atmosphere >> PBP account.

Stage 7 joins the PBP route at the picturesque village of Lassay-les-Chateaux, with the Tour stage finishing at Fougeres, which features as a food/stamp control on PBP at the 305 km and 915 km mark. It is a lovely rolling section of the route, made famous in the 2011 PBP by a blistering solo attack from the Wattmeister which briefly improved his on-the-road position from 3,296th to 3,294th, before he was overtaken by the rider in 3,295th place.

Watch out for the two hamlets of Ambrieres and Gorron which are also passed through on this stretch of road. The mayor of Gorron often stands roadside playing the trumpet at all hours of the day and night during PBP (unless it is raining). It’s nice to know that the riders are not alone in being bonkers. Always slightly out of tune, this has the desired effect of speeding the riders on their way.

Maybe he will similarly honour the Tour today.

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2 Responses to Tour de France…Stage 7

  1. Just one PBP behind me. I think I remember a long run in to Fougeres but not whether that was outbound or inbound.I seem to remember the town itself having impressive stone defences, and sitting outside a cafe in the sun eating a lovely ham baguette to avoid the food queues at the control. Gorron rings a strong bell as well but I can’t picture it.

    I have the live coverage recording so I’ll spend more time on that than the highlights for a change. Though I noticed that yesterday the recording stopped with about 20km still to go – they were way behind schedule.

    • stravamad says:

      Thank you for your comment Simon. There is certainly a castle at Fougeres, and in 2007 I remember a very steep ascent via a back road into the town. In 2007, Gorron was deserted on the outward bound leg as the rain was teeming down. On the homeward stage, it is not a bad place to take a quick coffee and watch the returning riders head towards Villaines, coming as it does about 40 km into a 85 km leg.

      My first PBP in 2003 took place in unseasonably hot weather On the way out I was amazed at how many riders had camper van support, it gave the effect of being a very busy, vibrant town indeed. In fact, my wife and I visited Fougeres the following August (2004), and the opposite was true.

      I am sure that brother John also has memories of Fougeres.

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