Downstairs the porridge was already bubbling and you could cut the atmosphere with a knife.
Outside it was dark, cool and it looked rather menacing.
We tried to lighten the mood by listening to some music as we forced down a bowl of porridge, followed by our hydration tablets, obligatory cup of tea and yet more water.
The weather forecast looked good, not too hot with the potential for rain later in the day.
With last minute checks to our bikes, a final check of our kit and yet another dash to the loo we were as ready as we would ever be.
The descent to the start was at a sobering, steady, quiet pace. Gradually as we got down into St. Jean De Maurienne the sun came up and we rode into a more relaxed party atmosphere.
Dodging other riders and weaving through the streets we found our way to Pen No.1.
After yet another loo-stop and a visit to the 'ladies' etape style, we waited.
WE WERE HERE, WE WERE ABOUT TO START.