Sandy completes Tour De France!
Published 30 Jul 2012 09:30 5 Comments
INVERKEITHING cyclist Sandy Wallace completed the Tour de France a whole week ahead of this year's race winner Bradley Wiggins.
Sandy (right) crossed the finish line with seven days to spare after taking part in the Tour de Force, which cycles the race route one week ahead of the professionals.
And the 66-year-old, who runs Sandy Wallace Cycles in Inverkeithing, admits it was the hardest thing he has ever done.
Sandy said, "I am knackered. It was brutal and I've never been so tired in my life. Apart from the mountains we had to get up before five in the morning to move to the next stage and it's the toughest thing I've ever done. I got through and survived and that's the main thing."
Sandy was among 24 'Lifers' who completed every stage of the tour, while other 'Dippers' took part in selected stages.
"Of the 24 that started probably 17 did the full route. I was one of the stronger riders and was in the top six all the time. There was folk coming in three to four hours after me at night.
"I was too high geared for some of the climbs and was out of the saddle for three quarters of an hour at a time. Some of the weather was terrible and I felt near hypothermia on the first mountain stage.
"It came after one with a 24 per cent ramp at the end and was an ordeal. The weather started off okay then got really, really bad. There was a long descent and I could hardly steer the bike as I was shaking that much with the cold but it was an experience."
Despite the physical challenges the word quit never once entered Sandy's head.
"I never thought I wouldn't make it. We had doctors and physiotherapists and I was on pretty serious painkillers the last few days for my Achilles but I was still quite strong at the end of it."
Despite the ordeal Sandy is already planning to repeat the race in four years time when he hits 70.
"The weather was bad throughout and we only had five good days out of three weeks. On a lot of the big climbs we didn't get the benefit of the views as there was mist and it was raining.
"I will have to go back and see what I missed and I'm thinking of doing it again when I'm 70."
This article appeared in Dunfermline Press 31 Jul 12
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