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J96 - Wednesday, January 20 : Béziers - Montpellier

77.35km – 9 H57’
Altitude : 35m
Due to a miscalculation, it was a long drawn out day.
This morning there are 8 runners at departure at 8:00, among whom André, my friend the policeman of yesterday who has already run the 100km of Millau, accompanied by one of his colleagues.  I say my friend because there are people who do all they can to make life, i.e., the organization easy for you and it is heartwarming.  I would also like to thank 3 people today: Pierre, Christian and Jean-François, of the group of runners from Montpellier who were helpful in guiding Serge, as well as Joël and Eliane to the center of Montpelier.  It was a sacrifice for Christian because he hoped to run the last kilometers with Serge.  These big cities are never easy for us (in Toulouse, Serge arrived ahead of the vehicles, which were stuck in traffic) and our time is carefully planned between sunrise and sunset.  These were the goodies for the day.    For my part, I miscalculated the mileage today: 77km were run instead of the 70km I calculated.  That makes 1 hour for Serge.  It is my “mea culpa” for the day.
Especially because this evening Serge accepted many things : at  6:45 a meeting in the TV studio of France 3 Languedoc-Roussillon and at 8 :00 attendance at a plenary session of the CJD, which he tells me about as he crosses the finish line,  whereas he had said that he would decline the invitation.  With this change of plans, things begin to get disorganized and because for me this race is synonymous with exactitude, my organized nature rebels.  
So, Serge went directly in front of the cameras without washing or changing his clothes, accompanied by Michel in his small car and without us seeing him or knowing about it.  Fortunately, we turned on the TV for the event and saw that Serge was in time for his meeting.  After that he returned to the Corum of Montpellier.  When I asked him when he thought he would eat, he raised his voice so Pierre, a young director and organizer of the stage who had made the itinerary and run from Montbazin, said he would bring Serge a meal at the Corum before the meeting….
In short, the team returned to the hotel to update the website and make the necessary preparations for tomorrow’s stage.  One thing is certain, Serge better not tell me he is tired because such a day seems excessive and I am annoyed.
If Serge were reasonable we would know it.  It’s difficult to acknowledge.
Our only consolation is that we leave for Nimes tomorrow morning at 9:30, for a short stage of some 60 km.  We expect to arrive at the square in front of the arena at 5:30 PM.
I have a lot of e-mails with good questions concerning the team.  I will talk to you soon about these “followers,” who work in Serge’s shadow.  As for me, today I received no less than 20 calls and I spent 5 hours in front of my friend the computer, with whom I talk more than with Serge!
Tomorrow’s route: Departure from  ZAC du Millénaire – Mauguio – Saint Just – Lunel – Marsillargues – Aimargues – D135 chemin des Canaux – Milhaud - Nîmes

Town : Montpellier (Hérault)

GPS : N43.34317° W003.21655°