I start off thinking my leg's better, but quickly it's back to how I ended up yesterday, ie painful and pretty useless.
It's a beautiful morning ride nonetheless, through the Vallée L'Allagnon to Massiac, it's a beautiful, peaceful and winding route. At Massiac I spot another traveller with a well-loaded donkey!
After having late morning coffee the Massif Central proper starts and I have to cycle uphill for 10 miles. I'm genuinely starting to worry that I won't be able to finish at this rate.
Get to lunch an hour late at Saint Fleur, but it was a lovely long hill down at nearly 40 mph (breaking the speed limit on the way).
Obviously after lunch I have to cycle up and down to the plateau twice, each time it's about a few hundred metres up and down! I meet a local cyclist who looks like he's in his 70s and explain that I'm going to Marvejols, 'Tres dur' (very hard) he says which is a bit off-putting.
After that it is almost constantly uphill, past Alpine-like meadows. But just as I think I won't be able to manage the last 10 miles uphill to Marvejols, I reach the sign for the peak and it's all downhill – for 15 minutes.
Stopping into the town I treat myself to a beer and, boy, does it taste good after today!
I arrive late at the hotel, but just manage to get food. A kindly chap on the next table even gives me half a bottle of red wine, presumably sensing my greater need...