“We thought this would be an easier day as it was “only” 75 miles but were proved very wrong. For me this was a very tough day mentally. The start was ok apart from a few large hills and got even better when at 25 miles James and I spotted a McDonalds sign in Montdidier. We had to go a mile out of our way up hill to get it but le big mac menu maxi was worth it! Our shirts have also proved a big hit as people have come up to us and talked about what we are doing wherever we have been!
“After the refuel we headed out of time and on what seemed like a long road to nowhere. The miles from 30 to 40 were 10 of the toughest so far. We were high up on a straight road with strong winds against us and no village or sign of civilisation in site. Just corn fields and wind turbines! At 42 miles we came across our support van but better news was there was a town just up ahead with a Carrefour city! We stopped there and took shelter inside as a massive storm came over head. The downpour lasted about 15 minutes and we thought our luck was in as we remained dry (that would change later).
“The next 15 miles were better as we went through villages, although every village we enter seems to be at the bottom of a big hill! We also went on the route of the Tour de France (see pic) which lifted our spirits. At about 50 miles we came into a larger town Claremont. James got another puncture here so while he changed his tyre I went in search of coke and food. The pancakes I found with ham and cheese were lovely and very welcome. As we left the town we could see the sky darkening up ahead. We made it up a big hill on to a flat open plain just as the heavens opened. We had nowhere to go to shelter so had to keep going. We got soaked. The rain was almost horizontal at times and meant that James couldn’t see cos of his glasses and I couldn’t as it washed the suncream down into my eyes. I was trying to keep one eye open to have a chance of seeing where I was going. It did speed us up though as we hit 22mph and started rattling through the miles. The weather calmed a bit (thankfully) and we finally saw a sign for Chantilly. We arrived at 8pm and had to shower and change quickly for dinner. Another 75 miles done and just the cycle to Paris tomorrow. Its a bit surreal to think we have cycled all this way (over 550 miles so far)!”