Day 49

Ònly one possible highlight today. Spain getting through to the World Cup Final

Well, that is not quite true as I enjoyed the best BNI meeting for many a long day at Kendal. It was a great buzzy meeting, excellently hosted by Stuart Nelson with a good education slot and a very slick 10 minutes’ slot by Stuart’s dynamic wife, Sharon.

From there it was on to what I knew would be the toughest day of the whole tour from a cycling point of view. I set off from Kendal in the hope of making Carlisle but being realistic that I might not make it because of one word…Shap. Those of you who know Shap will know why I had to be careful. Shap is one of the highest summits in England with some frightening climbs. I was delighted that I was through the worst by 1,45 and after a (very!) extended lunch I was ready to continue. Shap to Penrith is not for the faint-hearted either but I was pleased to crack that section and that just left me the (relatively) easy last 17 miles to Carlisle. The need to get to Carlisle and somewhere to stay before the Spain game must have spurred me on as I arrived in the city just a few moments before the game started. What a game it was. Spain new meet Holland in the final after Carles Puyol’s magnificent header ¡A por ellos! Already looking forward to Sunday’s Final.

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