Dominic and Liam conspire to win the first summit finish of the Dauphine against Hudson’s wishes, a plan that results in Dominic taking the overall lead and French rising hero Bernard Larcque winning the stage. After a restless night that involves a visit from Rhianwen Jones, Dominic is overwhelmed by the media response to his victory, which plays up his rivalry with Liam. On the road, he finds he can’t climb, and he finally decides to abandon the race when Wes Speksnjider passes him. He takes a quiet country road back to the hotel, finally feeling those moments of joy he first felt back when he was a child. After checking to make sure his bike wasn’t sabotaged, he relaxes in the hotel’s cool outdoor pool.
Meanwhile, Susan has returned to work and gained approval to write her article about Liam, but has to contact former affiliated Globe sports writer Henri Giroud for the team’s details. After a series of comedic calls with Giroud, she is prepared to travel to the Punaise hotel for the Tour de France.
Double meanwhile, Henri Giroud is transforming the old farm into an academy for talented cyclists. Ever the Anglophile, he longs to bring in British cyclists, as well as an English-speaking writer to handle the PR. What a helpful coincidence that this forlorn British journalist keeps calling. All he needs now is a high-profile cyclist needing rehabilitation, if only he could find one…
Susan arrives at the hotel, which is shaped like a pholcid’s cephalothorax, and learns that her interview with Liam is canceled because the team dropped out of the race following Officer Kalb’s raid in the early hours of the morning. Something else seems amiss. Masses of people gather in the lobby, then Giroud sits behind her. She tries not to make eye contact, but he recognizes her and explains there’s been a bomb. They sit together in silence, Giroud’s book on the shelf behind his shoulder if only he’d look.