Evora to Almodover

Yesterday’s ride was the longest of the trip but this one is is only a mile shy of that, so it’s going to be another gruelling one.

The first stage is to retrace our steps and get back on the N2 at Alcacovas. It’s around 20 miles of mainly downhill riding along straight roads and the lads make good progress, peloton style.

John still has his doubts about his tyre so he jumps in the van with me from the off. He’ll get back in the saddle at Alcacovas and take it from there.

We stop regularly for photos, with John on one side of the road taking videos and me on the other taking photos.

Unfortunately, this gives the lads the impression of an intermediate sprint finish line and every time they see us they put the burners on.

This is going to create friction within the group and soon enough Coxy has had enough and puts on the burners splitting the peloton in two.

By the time we reach Alcacovas he’s took several minutes off the chasing pack.

John and I get here earlier and he gets on his bike and sets off to get a bit of a head start. However, before the rest of the lads reach me I get the call that his tyre has blown again!

So, I head on down to pick him up and get him back in the van just as the rest of the lads get here.

It’s at this point that Ade suggests he try a ‘worm’… another new one on me but more on that later…

The lads push on towards Torrao which will be our first stop of the day for coffee.

The roads in this section are mainly flat but undulating and on some stretches you can see for miles in the distance.

We reach Torroa in good time and stop at a cafe in the small square with a lovely fountain. It’s a great spot and a chance for Johnny to try the ‘worm’…

Ok, this is obviously a layman’s description of how a worm works…

You get a small strip of rubber, which I assume is the worm, and then you push it into the hole in your tyre with a sharp pointed tool. Then you snip off the excess and put some sealant on it. Yep, you shove a sharp pointed tool into your tyre!

John ponders using the ‘worm’

It really works, apparently but at this point we don’t trust Johnny with a sharp pointed tool anywhere near his tyres! So, he’s staying in the van.

After coffee and cake we set off for the next stop in Ervidel, which will be our lunch stop.

By the way, don’t get the impression that the lads are jollying along with all these stops for coffee, cake and lunches. They burn through a massive amount of calories on these rides and must take regular nourishment.

Anyway, the terrain is similar all the way to Ervidel and we get there on schedule. We, of course have a target time to reach the end of this ride as England kick-off at 5pm.

We find a cafe in Ervidel and the guy in charge speaks good English, which has been rare in some of the smaller places we have passed through.

So, John orders a Tuna sandwich… then one of the other lads orders the same… and as each one comes into the cafe they also say, yep… tuna is fine with me. The guy was listening to this the whole time over maybe, 5 or 6 minutes… Then he says… Sorry… No Tuna!

Ham and cheese it is then!

After lunch we press on to Castro Verde which will be our last stop before we reach Almodover. Again the terrain is similar but broadly uphill, so it’s going to be a slog but a tail wind should make it a little easier.

John and I stop regularly to make sure everyone is ok and take photos. At this point Coxy is putting some distance between him and chasing pack but all are making steady progress and we get to Castro Verde in good time.

However, all three groups (me and John in the van, Coxy in front, and the rest of the lads) all take different routes into the town centre and miss each other.

So, we all press on the the finish in Almodover. We get to the hotel for 4pm which gives us an hour to get sorted before the big game.

The hotel is a bit of an odd one. Our rooms are more like Butlin’s chalets but there’s a pool bar and a restaurant on site so we should be good to go.

However, we find that the bar won’t be showing the game as it’s on pay TV and they don’t have it, so we’ll need to find an alternative venue. The restaurant is closed as well, so we’ll need to head into town anyway. It’s only a ten minute walk so that’s where the lads have gone.

I need to do the blog so I’m sat writing this at the poolside bar with a cold beer. Only me here. Well, just me and the barmaid… 😉