In the break, bloodied, but not beaten - Charles Planet Completes a Memorable Tour of Britain
Sunday Sept the 12th brought one final roll of the dice for our Aviva Tour of Britain diarist, 21 year old Frenchman Charles Planet. London, as ever, offered up a stunning backdrop in the crisp early autumn light. The flag dropped and the pace went from waves & smiles to the crowd at the start-line to warp-speed in a matter of seconds. The conclusion of the first bonus sprint provided the springboard a brace of domestic criterium specialists needed to forge away from the pack, a gap is bludgeoned out- and then I catch site of a lone white & blue clad rider bridging across- It's Planet! Charles Planet has hauled himself across the chasm and made the break! Can we kindle hope for a fairytale ending? Caution; It's professional road racing we are dealing with here. This ain't no picnic..
Image credits - AP Sports Photography
Sun 13th September- ST8, 86.8KM; London
“I’m so upset. I fought all week, every single day. I gave it my all and had such strong legs and then I crashed. It wasn’t supposed to go like this again, not when I was feeling so strong. I finally got in the break. I fought from the very start and knew today would be hard and fast, but I finally made it. We weren’t out front long before the peloton brought us back. Then another rider caused me to go into the barriers. I hit the ground so hard but immediately I got back up. I grabbed my bike and was ready to keep racing, but my bike was a mess. On the circuit, each team only has one car and they can’t get around each other, so it took awhile for my team to get there with my spare bike. I started racing to get back immediately because I didn’t want to end the race with another DNF. For me, a DNF is the worst thing possible. I fought so hard but I was all alone. My team car had to go back up to the peloton. The circuit was too short and I was already about half a lap back. I fought for two laps to bridged back up but eventually the commissars pulled me from the course. I didn’t want to quit. I wouldn’t have quit if they didn’t make me. I wanted to make it back so badly.."
"It wasn’t until I got back to the bus that I realized how hard I crashed. My helmet saved my life today. I have had a few crashes this year and had to have some surgeries, so I am really happy that I’m not hurt. I’m so glad for my helmet and that I didn’t hurt my body. My face hurts right now but that’s okay. It means that I didn’t lose any of my form to a crash. I can keep racing again this week. I want this to be a good year for me. I have several more races left and I just want something big.”