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J95 - Tuesday, January 19: Carcassonne - BĂ©ziers

77.98km – 10 H08’
Yesterday there was a delay in updating the log, even though I put it online at 10:00 PM, but connection problems seem to have been the cause.  No, I wasn’t resting on my laurels and yes, I think about all of you who were worried about my silence!
It’s an early morning departure from the Mercure CitĂ© Hotel where we stayed last night.  The dream team is ready at 6:30 to face the road and the exit from Carcassonne on a double, two lane highway which, in spite of the early hour, proves to be dangerous for Serge as well as the van.  What a relief, after 10 km it’s easier in spite of everything.  From Toulouse, the shoulders are narrow if not nonexistent.  There are plane trees on the side of the secondary roads and sometimes guardrails have been added, which leave no escape for Serge when a truck crosses a car.  There is absolutely no space for him and I am very uneasy when I see him running in such places.
Cabezac is at km45 and we have our first appointment with Charles Reffay from the Union Financière de France office in Narbonne.  He has organized a big group of colleagues and athletes: the Catalan Dragons (rugby a XIII, Super league), the USA Perpignan (rugbyXV, top 14), the RC Narbonne (rugby a XV, Pro D2), the ASC Narbonne (athletics) with Rosa Gangloff, French record holder for 10,000 meters, the Narbonne Volley Ball group, the Perpignan-Canet FC (soccer), the Sainte Rose Narbonne Golf Club.  For the occasion, Serge wears black and orange in honor of the Racing Club.  Serge takes the time to stop and shake hands with everyone and talk for a few moments before leaving in charming company, shoulder to shoulder with Rosa.
At 2:30, at km 65, there is a second meeting with the team of JĂ©rĂ´me Montane, of the CJD of BĂ©ziers.  There are 4-5 runners, among whom Francis, who are there to guide Serge on the last 18 km.  The group gets bigger at the locks of Fonseranes.  It is worth mentioning the presence of Jean-François BANCK, a regular runner and especially of 100km events (winner of Millau in 2001, of Royan in 2005 and of Samatan in 2008).  He will be with us tomorrow to run the entire stage to Montpellier.
The welcome in Beziers could not have been warmer: the mayor’s chief of staff, the president of the CCI and the deputy for sports were present.  Serge was given books on the history of BĂ©ziers, which we will be able to read when we get home, while we drink some wine (in moderation, of course) and look at the numerous medals from the cities we have crossed.  All these gifts will join our souvenir chest.
Random items of prime information:
•    The camper is parked in the vaulted and tiled, deluxe parking space of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry
•    The municipal policemen of BĂ©ziers are “angels”
•    I finally can put a face to the name of Mr. Romero, who has been sending us very kind e-mails since we started and it’s great to be able to speak together.

Tomorrow : Montblanc – Pézenas – Montagnac – Montbazin – Lavérune Montpellier (Place de la Comédie at approximately 5 :15 PM

Town : BĂ©ziers (HĂ©rault)

GPS : N43.34317° W003.21655°