As part of my “beyond the riding” theme lately, here’s a little look at stage 15 and another one of my amazing teammates, Jennifer Cree. On paper, this stage looks short (only 145km), flat, and painless. We learned early in the day however, to never underestimate the Tour…
We started with a little RedBull action just because it looked like a great idea. And it was! We were flying for those first few hours! But then the rolling hills came and the sun and heat came and headwind came. Come on, an easy stage in the Tour? Keep dreaming. But we all kept calm and carried on. Pedal after pedal.
Eventually we got through about ¾ of this long monotonous day when all of a sudden, one of the Flechage guys showed up to keep us company for the rest of the way in. The Flechage guys are the one’s who go out the day before the Tour and put up all the yellow arrows to point out the route for the day. We rely on these guys every day to keep us on track and we’ve become friends with them as they pass us each morning honking their funny horns.
That’s where Jennifer comes into this story. She is such a supportive member on the team. She doesn’t take shit from anyone, even our ‘directors’ and will tell you straight how it is. I find it so rare for someone to be blatantly obvious in what they mean exactly when they say it. At first, I was kind of perplexed by this random blurting out of random information or statements. But being out here, with our minds in zombie mode, it’s incredibly refreshing. No mixed signals, no questioning what she really means. My brain doesn’t work much anymore so having someone spell it out is great!
Anyways, we come to find out the Flechage guy that came to ride with us has a huge crush on Jennifer and wanted to come say hello! Nice work Cree. She of course is married so no worries there, but it’s always awesome to have a little extra support when you can get it! Wink wink! So over the past few stages, the Flechage guys have been rooting us on and putting up signs with nice messages on them for us and for Jennifer.
It’s been a crazy ride so far but having these amazing women by my side throughout it all has made all the difference. Jennifer, my backseat of the van partner in crime, is definitely our public relations officer for the trip. She makes friends with everyone by just giving them a great big grin and loud ‘Bonjour’! On to Paris!