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Stage 4 - A philosophical journey through the French countryside

Deloitte Partners Cycling 2024

Hard data of the day

Day: Tuesday 7 May 2024
From: Carcassonne 
To: Rivesaltes

# kilometers: 112km 
# altimeters: 1684m
# flat tyres: 1

Hero of the day

The hero of the day is Tom W. He demonstrated mercy and selflessness by sacrificing himself to reunite the flock. Thank you Tom!

Trivia of the day

The trivia of the day goes to Pierre P. While we were sitting under the Kortweg tent, we were suddenly caught in a downpour. Pierre immediately collected all helmets on the bikes to prevent them for getting wet! Thank you, Pierre.

Story of the day

As a journalist, the dinner table is the perfect place to gather the information needed. After a long day on the bike people are exhausted and start to talk openly.

  • David D. orated a captivating story of bygone times. I cannot disclose the content as he told the story under the Chatham House rules.
  • Fred DB, still in his “over the moon state” for becoming yesterday’s hero of the day, asked me the impertinent question if there were people who offered me some money to get mentioned in the blog. I could confirm he was the only one so far,…
  • Maarten M. expressed his appreciation for the quality of the dessert. Rolf D. stated that we’re obviously heading towards Spain as they served us a crème Catalan.

Yesterday was a long rainy day on the road to Carcassonne. Not only the riders suffered but also the bikes. This morning before start-off we noticed our bikes were gleaming and shining like a diamond, thank you Kortweg, really appreciated. 

I also want to thank Sibylle of our marketing department for consistently posting the blog on the online platforms.

The first thing I noticed this morning was that our fellow cycling partner David D. was in a very philosophical mood. Before I give some more details on David’s philosophical input I must inform the readers of this blog that yesterday evening we decided  to split up the group in two sub-groups, a fast group (21 people) with a start at 9:00 am and a less fast group (10 people) with a start at 8:30 am. Thanks Agné V. for correcting the description slow into less fast.

It was the intention group 2 would close the gap and by noon we would have lunch together.

At the start of group 1 at 8:30 am someone asked David D. why he did participate with the less fast group. He could easily participate in group 2. David answered that no one ever died of riding too slow on a bike.

I participated today in the less fast group, so we started-off at 8:30 am. We took some time for sightseeing at Carcassonne and then we cruised direction southeast to Perpignan for a ride of 112 km with 1684 altitude meters. It was one of the most beautiful rides I ever did. Not only the landscape but also the coherent atmosphere within the team. We even took some time for a coffee break in the Cathars region. A well-known philosopher stated “we are all winners today”. 

By noon we arrived at the Kortweg base camp for lunch. To our great surprise we were told we even widened the gap with half an hour. By the time our lunch was served all hell broke loose. We stayed nice and dry under the Kortweg tent feeling sorry for those who had to cope with heavy rainfall. We ordered a ristretto but by the time it arrived it had changed into a café Americano. 

When the rain stopped we continued our cycling journey. We stopped a few more times for a group photo and to apply sunscreen. We arrived at the hotel at 3 pm.

By 3:45 pm we could finally welcome the fast group. We noticed some frictions within this team. In vain David D. tried to convince some team members to apply a more philosophical perspective. 

I was clung to by several team members of group 2 ‘bout what happened. After hearing various stories I will try to summarize what happened. As I have to base myself on hearsay I cannot be held accountable for the content of the stories. Apparently four people, two guilty ones and two innocent ones were misled by other fellow partners who were hidden behind the church in Villeflour. One of the religious cyclists suddenly realized the four lost sheep had to be brought back to the flock. He succeeded but it took some time.

As a result of this delay it was clear that a bunch of 29 innocent people was punished by a higher power (rain, wind,…) in order to compensate the rash actions by two less innocent people. 

I am convinced the identity of the perpetrators should not be disclosed but one should remember … it is often not the fasted team that wins the flowers but the smartest team.

I still have two medals to give. 

The trivia of the day goes to Pierre P. When we were sitting under the Kortweg tent all of a sudden we were confronted with pouring rain. Pierre immediately collected all helmets on the bikes to prevent them for becoming wet! Thank you, Pierre. 

The hero of the day is Tom W. He was the merciful one who selflessly sacrificed himself to bring the flock back together. Thank you Tom!! 

Looking forward to tomorrow’s ride.


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