On our ride this afternoon, while John and I were minding our own business at 30 kph, a small group of very tiny and identically kitted young women passed us. They gave us a cheery ‘bonjour’ and quickly created a gap, with their team car patiently waiting behind us.
More out of curiosity than any masculine need (at our age the testosterone level is not high enough to care), we caught up to them and started our first climb of the day as a little peloton.
At one point near the middle of the climb one of the riders shot ahead and another tried, but failed, to hold her wheel. What was left was a friendly rider who we breathlessly interrogated while we could. After some very short pleasantries (‘where are you from?’, ‘Yes, we’re not French…how did you guess?’), we found out that this rare female cyclist sighting (in our parts, it’s nearly never) is due to their team (BioFrais) coming to the south for a training camp.
It turns out that they are not just any amateur team, but full of riders at the highest level. They compete for the national team on the track, in ‘cross and on the road. We were just happy we could hold one of their wheels for a few minutes, although I dare say she was letting us.
After they left us at the next intersection, John and I rode another two hours at the most agressive pace I remember pulling in a long time. Maybe we found that testosterone after all.