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J34 - Thursday, November 19: Le Fieu (Town Hall) – Bordeaux (Place de l’hôtel de ville)

Arrival in Bordeaux
75km – 9 H20 minutes
There is beautiful sunshine today and many encounters in the towns we cross.  In Saint-Médard d Guizières, the high school is mobilized en masse.  A group of students is waiting on the road for Serge with municipal police escort.  As they enter the schoolyard all the other students cheer them on.  It rejuvenates Serge, who loves a warm atmosphere.  It’s the first time since Brittany that Serge is accompanied by runners for an entire stage.  Today Jean-Pierre, Frédéric and many others run with him on the roads of Gironde between Saint Emilion and Pomerol.  From Dordogne to Gironde, the kilometers speed by under the strides of all these fans of the asphalt.
In the vineyards, which we observe closely, workmen are removing old vines to plant young one and prepare for winter, while at the same time grapes harvested in 2009 grapes are macerating and it will no doubt be a good year as far as quantity and quality are concerned, word of a winemaker!
On his motorcycle, Alain follows the whole stage in Gironde to ensure safety at crossroads and guide the runners.  Odile, his wife, joins us when she finishes her work in Libourne and ends the day in Rene and Eliane’s van, as apprentice to the support crew
As we leave Libourne, the school of Vayres is waiting for Serge and 215 school boarders are gathered on the stage singing encouragement to Serge.  The city’s assistant sports manager, Michel Andrieu, is an ex-world champion rower and won an Olympic medal in rowing in Sydney.  Under his arm he holds a scale and he weighs Serge.  Is this local custom?  Then he presents Serge with the town’s flag and an envelope in which he offers Serge his weight in local wine:  Graves de Vayres.  What a gift!  Overcome with emotion, Serge leaves in the direction of Bordeaux, where he encounters s five classes of students who are lined up along the road at 100 meter intervals singing and waving banners.  It’s a magnificent honor guard!
We are not far from the famous stone bridge or the quays and then there is the well known water mirror before we reach the city hall and the cathedral square, where an ice rink is being assembled.  It’s 20°C and the sun is blazing so we find it difficult to believe the ice won’t melt.
The beautiful city of Bordeaux welcomes us.  Thanks go to Cyril, of the CJD who collaborated with Vanessa, to organize the finish, and to Alain, manager of the UFF branch of Bordeaux.
Patrice, president of the runner’s association of the regional council, welcomes us this evening.  He is a sportsman with a big heart and culinary talents we did not expect.  We meet his partner, Patricia, and their friend, Robert, a long distance runner who among other things took part in the Mil Kil race in complete autonomy in 2008. We had a delightful time with them.
Tomorrow departure will be at 7:30 from Place Pey Berland at the Cathedral.

Town : Bordeaux (33)

GPS : N 44.83818° - W 000.57700°