Yesterday was a tough day, and thanks to Lyndsey and Julie from Dulux R&D for pulling me along the road. Even better was the cottage arranged by Jess: a proper bed and beer/pizza for dinner. Thanks also to Brian for driving me into camp at 5:30am.
Today I started first off the line, to avoid the chilly wait in the queue. I managed ten miles down the road before being overtaken by the faster starters. We climbed over Wenlock, with beautiful fields and a misty sunrise. Following that, descent through beautiful single-track roads down onto the plains.
At this point I was getting pain in my left knee. This was something I smashed up in 2000 on a mountain bike ride, and then again at the end of 2013 (again a mountain bike crash). The last days through Cornwall and Devon, plus the diversion of yesterday have clearly taken their toll on this pre-existing injury. As a result I had to limp the last 20 miles to pit stop 1, mostly pedalling with my right leg. The medics have seen it, and I’m on the broom wagon to base camp.
At the moment I don’t know how this will pan out: a rest and anti-inflamatories may get me through, but equally it may be that the damage is done, and more riding will make it worse.
Will see how things pan out and make a decision at Penrith.