As we arrived at the Saint Quentin's Palais des Sports, the Rapha guy yelled from the bus:
- Nice bikes you are riding!
I spoke to a couple more people at the registration villa this afternoon and the conclusion was:
The Canyon Ultimate will be fine, I can register.
Sandra and I were directed to the bike parking area where two Valet Riders waited and jokingly parked our bikes. From there, we followed the P-R Challenge signs to the Palais des Sports main building where, the friendly organising team greeted us and gave us numbers, musettes and spare tubes.
Back outside, people gathered around Canyon, Trek and Rose bikes, Mavic gear and, of course, Rapha apparel and coffee... The guys at the Mavic service vans looked busy truing wheels and talking tyre pressures for tomorrow. They told me to try 6 Bars and if I didn't feel good on the ride, stop by the yellow truck to have it changed.
As we waited for our coffees (the only Rapha thing I could afford), Alex, from the Rapha bus again, tried to advise me on using 25mm tyres. He was surprised I was already riding the 25mm Contis.
"You will be smoking then!" he said with his Norwegian accent.
We didn't have much time to spare, we still had a 28 km ride back to Peronne in typical Northern France conditions and some shopping to do.
- See you tomorrow. I am pumped. We will be smoking tomorrow! said Alex.
Anyhow, it is 10:15, time to plan my P-R ride. What to wear, what to eat, how to ride it... I hope the Ultimate can handle it.
Photos by Groover