This is it!
Yesterday I pedaled today my last 100 or so kilometers. Wednesday I finally leave for France. There is not much left to say: I'm packing my things, starting with bike and accessories, hoping it won't suffer too much on the trip.
Whatever happens, it was totally worth it. Training for the Etape was a great, rewarding experience in itself: the sense of achievement, the pure pleasure of feeling one's body starting to perform better and better, and pain and fatigue subsiding to the pure pleasure of the ride.
A big thank you to Gio, Jiro, Charles, Elke, Bob, everyone else I rode with these months, and of course Laura, who kept me very well fed: without her, none of this would have been more than a fleeting fantasy.