Eschewing my previous form I tried to stay towards the front of the pack as we left Brussels. The slow pace with stop/start for junctions and lights aided me and soon we were in wooded roads cycling through dappled shade.
Twelve miles later the water stopped beckoned and so far ahead of many was i that I was able to be fed and watered and move off before many had even got their tea.
That continued to lunch and i set off happy with the day (no really!). At 38 miles we had our first rolling guide stop - the first British shots of the war (photos 2& 3 - not sure how the phone is going to fit these in, i may need to post edit ;-).