Viseu to Tabua

As it’s a fairly short ride today, only 33 miles, the lads decide that today will be our Donkey Derby day, our handicapped race to the finish in Tabua.

However, we’re not going to start the race from our hotel in Viseu, rather it will start at Santa Comba Dao 20 miles further on. After this point the lads will ride the race on a cycle track to the finish so I can’t follow. I’ll be there at the finish line though…

We make good progress to Santa Comba Dao along the N2 and there’s a couple of steady climbs on the way.

The weather is great for the lads, warm and cloudy with a light cool breeze. Perfect for riding but no good for my suntan!

The lads stop at a cafe in Santa Comba Dao for lunch but I press on to the finish in Tabua as I have to take a 30km detour around on the main roads.

I can then get parked up and pick out a suitable finish line as close to the Moby Dick cafe as possible. The cafe was identified as a likely finish line by Coxy last night.

I park up and pick a spot that shouldn’t be a problem for the lads and wait…

It’s then the messages start to come through on Whatsapp…

“I don’t think it’s passable” from John.

“I’ve crashed and now my gears don’t work” from Coxy.

“John’s crashed not sure how bad” from Coxy again.

What’s going on out there!!??

I have no option but to just wait and see what happens. I can’t go back for them as I can’t go on their route.

Eventually I see a cyclist in the distance and it’s Coxy! So he crosses the line first and is this year’s Donkey Derby winner so well done to him!

He then tells me what happened…

John gets away first, then it’s time delays for everyone else. Not sure exactly what they were as I wasn’t there but the other lads follow with Coxy setting off last

After they set off from Santa Comba Dao they find the cycle track and at first it’s fine but then it turns into gravel and dirt.

At one point the track splits into four and as Coxy arrives, Marty, Gibbo and John are each coming back from three of the routes, all impassable!

That leaves route number four so they push on down that. They can see the river through the trees and know they have to cross it so it must be the right way.

At first they dismount and push their bikes but Coxy decides it’s rideable so jumps back in the saddle. Next bend, he skids on the gravel and up and over the handlebars he goes into the bushes!

John has a similar experience further on but both lads are fine and carry on the treck.

Is the Donkey Derby still on? You bet it is…

Eventually they get to better roads a few miles out but nobody is going to catch Coxy now and he wins easily.

The rest of the lads aren’t far behind and we then make our way to the hotel.

Some of the lads are going for a dip in the hotel pool now and then we’ll get ready and head back to the Moby Dick bar to watch the match.

Come on England!!