I arrived in Le Vihiers, a small village not far from Franck's house at around 15h30. He and his wife breed, raise, and show Newfoundland dogs and his wife runs a dog beauty parlor.
I arrived at the same time as her afternoon client an 80kgs dog named Dipstick who weighed at least 20kgs more than Celine. As she tried to coax him to the dog bath he put on his foot break and refused to move forward....I had to laugh as it really seemed comical so she pulled and I pushed and we finally got Dipstick on the platform and into the tub!
Meanwhile, Franck had gone to our race headquarters to sign his contract and on his way home, knowing I'm a bit of a whiskey fan, he picked up a bottle of Glenfidisch....a 15 year old pure malt!
I hadn't seen Franck since our camp in July and we started with what I hoped would just be one appero.....cocktail....and before I knew it we had covered the season, planned for ten years of racing and finished the bottle!
So far I'm doing very well in my post marathon unwinding phase though I'll have to pull hand break on the unwinding bit before I 'uncork' completely!
Franck is the oldest member of our team at 35. When he was 30 he discovered he was narcoleptic, meaning that most of us have 6 sleep cycles and sleep them all during the evening. Franck only has 2 and the others could happen at any time during the day.
The first treatment he was given was on the banned substance list and even though he went to Lausanne and did more than one vo2 and power test to prove that the med's had no effect on his performance, he was informed that he was no longer allowed to compete while at the peak of his career.
The case was battled for over 2 years to no avail, and finally in august 2008 his neurologist found a new treatment not on the list that would allow Frank to race again!
2009 was Frank's first year back after a 3-year hiatus...He dropped 8kgs during the season, is svelter than he's ever been, and is not far off at all from victory!
Back to our bottle....we continued our training, season planning until 22h when I conked out...at 9am, both with a slight head ache, we opted for an easy mountain bike ride on local trails to get our systems back in operation. Matteo, his 7 year old son rode along with us and was happy as could be to ride along with Dad. Having left most of my brain cells back at their house I forgot to take a photo of us all after the ride!
Next stop La Varenne, a nice little village on the Loire to visit Yohan Gene.