Oh the book is a great one and I didn't really want it to finish. This became a tacky realisation in my mind, particularly having read the same thing on the back cover. Lemond and Hinault, eh? What could I remember of 1986? Never mind, I bought it anyhow and it was still true - I didn't want it to finish... It'll be a good book to go to France with I remember was the rationale for buying something in a real shop, as I walked away from W.H. Smiths in Yeovil that afternoon. Six days later I tackled the hardest sportive of my life, up and over the four Pyrenean passes of the Aubisque, the Tourmalet, the Aspin and the Peyresourde. Le Blaireau seemed an interesting character to me; somebody like Che Guevara perhaps, who was the first person that sprang to mind - the Argentinian revolutionary was both a hard man who you wouldn't really want to meet in the wrong circumstance but somebody, nonetheless, you had to admire for his total commitment, his strength of character and his unwillingness to compromise. Those were my first impressions of the Breton, Bernard Hinault. Lemond, on the other hand, seemed just like me; dizzy but focussed, very disorganised when it suited him, always cut it fine when it came to the parameters of time, individualistic, questioning of convention. How could these two ever have got on? Those first chapters were all I got a chance to read before my little jaunt to France had come to an end. I'd never felt so emotional when the tour ended; I felt I'd been a part of it truly...a kindred soul, turning the pedals ever on, up and over, piece by piece to the last km of the Etape. Wouldn't we have a party at the end! We did. I'd missed the kids though and the last few weeks back home had been okay I reasoned, I got a few rides and wasn't bothered about the poor weather - we'd had good old British weather in France too! Come to think of it, Bernard and Greg remind me a bit of my step-father and I, a man I love very dearly but who is so different in so many different ways, yes that's him and me...I'd be Lemond wouldn't I? Perhaps Le Blaireau is what I'd truly aspire to be? A state of mind that isn't fleeting, but a permanent, reliable fixture in the body and ...it's too late, I needed sleep...je suis fatigue! * There was a reason I'd been unable to sleep. Cycling and books, thoughts, personalities and ideas associated with it were good at relaxing my hyperactive mind that wants to stay up thinking all night, analysing stuff whilst my body says enough. Quite often the body has the last word, but often enough I have to remind the Directeur Sportif in my head that tomorrow is just another ride, so chill the heck out. It had been a while since I'd seen the members of my road club - Clevedon and District - a combination of family commitments, very hilly training rides and work had meant a good 3 month gap since I'd been out on a Sunday jaunt. Today was the coast to coast - Clevedon to Seaton and back and my over-active mind last night, I now hoped wouldn't get the better of my body later on. Nah, should be okay.