Thursday 25th February Montreuil - Maidstone. 120km. Done: 1633 km. To go: 1255km. Weather: Filthy. What else?
Joanna pretty sick overnight and did well to start on an empty stomach. Paul Kimmage nursed her to Calais. Our group got lost early and took the scenic route through Boulogne. Realise this makes no sense. Once again the Six Nations became the rainbow nation as the multi coloured waterproofs came out.
We rode straight on to the train at Calais, and came across sitting on the floor eating baguettes. A group from Eurotunnel rode the whole leg with us, except the canny (female) PR director who slipped in with 100m to go, in front of the assembled media. This is the moment that we, the extras, all get asked to 'get out of shot'. Ho hum.
Glad to be back in the UK, though completely soaked slogging up from Folkestone to Maidstone , and got my first flat of the trip.
Great evening at Pizza Express, despite BA captain Tony Greene setting fire to the restaurant. Rafa Ibanez made a very funny speech - what a delightful guy - now spending his time skiing and kayaking. Can Aussie Dave really be a New Zealander? - at dinner he told a friend, on the phone, that he was sitting having dinner with Rafa Benitez.
To his credit Will Greenwood was so disappointed with doing a 'Dominguez' and not finishing his day that he has come back to ride to Twickenham. (I know, attention seeker).
Pretty uneventful on the road. We are going through London tomorrow (Friday) - and we should arrive in the West car park at Twickenham around 3.30. Via the King's Road and the familiar territory of Richmond Park. A million laps and counting.
And tomorrow night our own bed. That is worth looking forward to.
Andrew Croker is part of the core team accompanying former England rugby union captain Lawrence Dallaglio on every leg of his epic 2,770 kilometre Cycle Slam which started on February the 12 in Rome. Joined by celebrities including former Arsenal defender and Match of the Day pundit Lee Dixon, one time Spurs and Newcastle striker Les Ferdinand and newsreader Dermot Murnaghan plus members of the public they're riding between Nice, Paris, Twickenham, Fishguard on to Rosslare and finally Edinburgh. It's all for Sport Relief and you can support the Cycle Slam at www.dallagliocycleslam.com