Morning light country houseThe cobbles
Images © 2010-2011 VeloDramatic Cycling Photography.

Given that I joined the project as team photographer in May, there were a handful of nights were I couldn't stay in the same hotel as the riders. So it was that I spent the night between stages two and three at the beautiful Domaine Du Chateau De La Neuville Hôtel. It sits on a lovely parcel of land complete with pond, geese, swans and sheep a mere 400 metres from a nuclear power station and its giant cooling towers. My room faced away from the plant. As the morning light filtered into my room overlooking a timeless pastoral scene it was hard to imagine the modern world loomed so close.

Later that afternoon it would be the ancient cobbles before Arenberg that exacted a toll on tired bodies as the team skirted the lumbering and rattling campers which seemed to appear like mushrooms every afternoon around 3 pm. On this section Matthias and Michiel deliberately eschewed the shoulders in favor of a more direct line through the pave.

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