We have a winner!

Bovine head-desk

Bovine head-desk

Image: Wikimedia

Quizzes should be simple to mark, right? I mean, there’s a right answer, and a wrong answer. Except, of course, when Sherliggett is a factor. After all, sometimes not even our esteemed commentators were really sure of the correct answer.

There was, however, a clear winner. A winner who was not put off by the repeated assertions that Simon Yates was the youngest rider in the race. A winner who managed to shoehorn in a reference to Fabian Cancellara in the answer to question 19. A winner who used the word PANIC in the answer to question 19 almost as many times as Sherliggett did during the broadcast…

Congratulations to Accidental Sunshine, an appropriate winner given the weather for this year’s edition of the race. Not only were most of the answers correct, they were also entertaining.

Here are some of the other (not necessarily correct!) answers that had me chuckling away at my computer:

1. How many Sundays are there in the Tour de France.

  • Four. There were, however, less than four sunny days. (Buttered Frog)
  • 48 Sundays too few. (S)
  • Every day is Sunday in the Couch le Tour. (Rusty)

2. Where should you ride in the peloton?

  • Behind Fabian, Bernie or Jakob to admire the view? (Midge)
  • From the start to the finish. (James)
  • In front of Nibali. All the damn way to Paris. (Scott)

4. Which city is Nibali from?

5. How old is Jens Voigt?

  • 42 going on 21. (Craig)
  • Older than time itself. (Charlotte)
  • 42, of course! After all, his existence in the peloton is the answer to the universe and all that. (Rusty)

6. How old is Chris Horner?

  • 42 going on 50. (Craig)

7. When the race started, who was the youngest rider?

  • Boy Van Poppel’s little brother, Danny (20yo at the Grand Depart). Also Jean-Paul Van Poppel’s son. Cue Paul Sherwen anecdote about riding against Van Poppel senior. Alternatively commentary may tangent to other families. (Buttered Frog)
  • One of Jens Voigt’s kids. (Charlotte)
  • Chris Horner. (James)

8. How many kids does Jens have?

  • When he stops riding full time he can count them. (Sue)
  • Where did he find the time? (Rusty)

9. Why was Stephen Roche mentioned with such frequency?

  • Because Paul has a huge man crush. (Becca)
  • …according to Phil, “as a seven year old, he earned the money for his first bicycle by sweeping Dublin Floors”. (S)

10. What is the?

  • Definite article; used to mark a natural phenomenon such as “The Jensie”. (Buttered Frog)
  • meaning of life (Conor)

11. Which stage saw Nibs v gormless-selfie-taker?

Thanks, Froggie and S for the gif!

14. What do you think was portrayed in the unseen field art of the school kids?

  • The kiddies were taken out by the dangerous knitted miniature jerseys. This was the cause of the OH&S controversy. (Buttered Frog)
  • Sky bikes and Froome on the podium, alas it’s now broken bikes and lost dreams. (Bronwen)
  • “Where’s Wiggo?” (James)
  • Impending doom. (Scott)

15. What causes picture breakup?

  • Russian spy satellites. (Craig)
  • Apparently it’s the work experience kid going slow on the bike-powered-generator out the back of Paul and Phil’s OB Van. (S)
  • French impressionists. (Rusty)
  • 180 cases of simultaneous chafing. (Scott)

16. What does the number beside place names denote?

  • It’s either the department number or the amount of times Phil mangles the English language in that region. (Becca)
  • The page number in the road book, so Paul can quickly find all the required historical trivia. (James)

18. What does a peloton never do?

  • Worry about helmet hair. (Scott)
  • Listen to its mother. (Rusty)
  • Complete an H&R Block tax return (Buttered Frog)
  • Decide to turn into a marching band (Conor)
  • Simply ride into Mordor. (Craig)

25. What was the theme for this year’s field art?

  • Exploited children (Becca)
  • “Have you checked the children?” (Scott)
  • Covering up for those missing Yorkshire kiddies, oh and circles, so many circles. (Buttered Frog)
  • “The insanity of the farmers of France.” First they sent all their vaches to a hidden milk well never to be seen again then promptly started maniacally driving their tractors in endless circles in their now vache barren fields. (Sue)

26. What does a cyclist carry in his suitcase?

  • I’ll ask one. (Conor)
  • A towel. Always a towel. Oh no, that’s hitchhikers. (Charlotte)

27. If he wasn’t a pro-cyclist, what would Tommy Voeckler be?

  • Just as annoying. (James)
  • Secret government agent (Ange)
  • Taste-tester (Conor)
  • Bono impersonator (Buttered Frog)
  • A basset hound (Becca)
  • Housewives’ handyman (Sue)
  • A comedian and/or less popular. (Craig)
  • The lead performer in Paul’s production Dancing on the Pedals. (Charlotte)
  • The French answer to Marcel Marceau. (Sue)
  • Poker face for hire. (Scott)
  • Perhaps an extra in a really bad porn movie? (S)
  • A gurner. (Tête de la Course)

28. What key possession did airport security confiscate from Kittel?

  • His climbing legs. (Craig)
  • His hair gel, which was thankfully not packed in his suitcase of courage, otherwise it may have led to PANIC! (Sue)

The other prize – let’s call it our Lanterne Rouge – goes to Anne, who managed to make the answer to every question 42.

= = = = = = = =

  • How many Sundays are there in the Tour de France? If you live in Australia and have to stay awake through that many Sundays – too many! Conservative guess, about 42.
  • Where should you ride in the peleton? I would have said “in the front” but given how many crashed at the front, I’m going to say 42nd.
  • What is the nickname of this year’s winner? The Shark. Which is like a dolphin, which all left the Earth when the Vogons arrived. And the computer in that book said the answer to everything was 42. So, again, I’m going with 42.
  • Which city is he from? I’m choosing to ignore this question because I can’t figure out how to get 42 in the answer. Oh wait, just did!
  • How old is Jens Voigt? Duh. 42
  • How old is Chris Horner? Not 42. But close.
  • When the race started, who was the youngest rider? Not Jens. He is 42.
  • How many kids does Jens have? 6, but sometimes his twitter feed gives the impression it is 42.
  • Why was Stephen Roche mentioned with such frequency? Either his dad is somehow involved in cycling, or P&P had a dare to get his name in 42 times per stage. Yeah. The second one.
  • Which stage saw Nibs v gormless-selfie-taker? So there was a stage 42 right? Or it happened with 42 km to go in some stage or other. Not important really. Yes, I know, it was the question. But the question doesn’t fit my answer.
  • According to the P’s, what was the biggest challenge for fans in the opening stage? Staying awake for more than 42 consecutive minutes.
  • What is remarkable about the walls in Yorkshire? Each wall has approximately 42 dry stones in it.
  • What do you think was portrayed in the unseen field art of the school kids? A giant 42 in honor of Jens and his final tour, clearly!
  • What causes picture breakup? The awesome power of 42 year old Jens’ legs when he gets into a breakaway. Or just rides along in the peleton. Either really.
  • What does the number beside place names denote? The department of France. My favourite is 42. If it exists. If not, it should.
  • Match the rider and birthplace? Voeckler with his 42 cm tongue is… oh who knows!!
  • What does a peleton never do? Get nervous? Nope. Get panicky! That’s it. They were nervous plenty of times. Again, rough estimate, about 42 times across the stages.
  • How many times has Tony Martin won the World TT championship? 42. No wait, that’s how many times he will win it before he retires. Including solo TDF stages.
  • Which ministries did the Ps award to Voeckler? Ministry of the tongue. The 42 cm tongue.
  • Was our roadside pachyderm an Asian or African elephant? Don’t you mean swallow? And how would it carry a coconut? And this sketch has been done to death. Around 42 times today alone.
  • Which nation was represented for the first time? Not sure, but it must have been the 42nd nation to have riders compete in the TDF.
  • What was the theme for this year’s field art? A Vacheless France. And there were 42 such field art installations viewed on SBS.
  • What does a cyclist carry in his suitcase? Well, the obvious answer is courage, but since you’ll get that around 42 times, I’m going with reserves of energy.
  • If he wasn’t a pro-cyclist, what would Tommy Voeckler be? With a 42 cm tongue like that… well, that would be rude… but he’d be paid well for using it…. :O
  • What key possession did airport security confiscate from Kittel? About 42 L of hair gel.

 

 

 

 

Le Tour de France 2014 – the quiz

For three weeks, we watched as some of the world’s best road cyclists traversed France and beyond through rain, rain, rain, and even a few slivers of sunlight. Was ours the easy job? Well, we didn’t have to battle the elements, ride on after horrendous crashes or climb mountains, but we did have to face something the pro peloton was shielded from: maintaining sanity in the face of hours of sometimes bizarre commentary.

Our efforts needn’t have been in vain, though. There’s always the chance to put this knowledge to use by attempting the LVDT quiz. There will be a prize for the winner! Entries close Monday at 8.30pm AEST. Email your responses by then and let’s see which fan reigns supreme!

    How many Sundays are there in the Tour de France?
    Where should you ride in the peloton?
    What is the nickname of this year’s winner?
    Which city is he from?
    How old is Jens Voigt?
    How old is Chris Horner?
    When the race started, who was the youngest rider?
    How many kids does Jens have?
    Why was Stephen Roche mentioned with such frequency?
    Which stage saw Nibs v gormless-selfie-taker?
    According to the Ps, what was the biggest challenge (for fans) in the opening stage?
    What is remarkable about the walls in Yorkshire?
    What do you think was portrayed in the unseen field art of the school kids (provide a description or image)?
    What causes picture breakup?
    What does the number beside place names denote?
    Match the rider and birthplace: Voeckler/Reza Guadeloupe/Martinique
    What does a peloton never do?
    How many times has Tony Martin won the World Time Trial championship?
    Which ministries did the Ps award to Voeckler?
    Was our roadside pachyderm an Asian or African elephant?
    Which nation was represented for the first time?
    What was that riders nickname?
    Where did he finish?
    What was the theme for this year’s field art?
    What does a cyclist carry in his suitcase?
    If he wasn’t a pro cyclist, what would Tommy Voeckler be?
    What key possession did airport security confiscate from Kittel?

Stage 21: Evry > Paris Champs-Elysées

It’s the final stage. The procession into Paris. Clinking champagne glasses for our jersey wearers and, no doubt, for Jens Voigt as he says goodbye to this race. All that  remains in doubt is who will take the final stage victory and who will still be watching to see it happen live. You see, last year’s “dusk” finish was such a success, they’ve decided to do it again. Coverage here doesn’t start until 11.00pm AEST and even the earliest estimated finish time would have us hitting our pillows after 3.00am. TrollDJ has been collecting votes for our favourite clips to play tonight, but I don’t think even that is going to keep me awake beyond midnight, despite how lovely it will be to see Péraud and Pinot flanking Nibali on the podium.

Nor is there a prospect of vaches riches to keep us tuned in. We’re in a region where, according to the Tourist Attractions page on the official website, the economy is based on “pharmaceutical products, office machines, computers, research” and a local speciality is “lark pâté”.  Maybe its Sherliggett’s frequent references to the Ministry of Silly Faces, but I just can’t take stop sniggering at the lark pâté.

HolyCowOpera

 Image: Paris Daily Photo

Ile de France is not a complete vaches-lovers desert, it’s just that we are more likely to taste them than see them. Grab yourself a bit of creamy soft cheese to go with your champagne; either some Brie de Meaux or Coulommiers will be perfect to represent the region. M Vache has picked up hanger steak but has voted against Café de Paris butter and is instead going back to Gascony with a recipe that includes bone marrow, veal stock and butter. We are seeing out this race in vache-tastic style!

Stage 20: Bergerac > Perigueux

It’s the Race of Truth and it could be quite the unpalatable truth given that Valverde could well out-race at least one of his rivals for the podium. Hopefully the home crowd will give Pinot just the lift he needs to ride the time trial of his life. At least Nibali seems secure in the yellow jersey, unless he has a catastrophic crash or decides to try his luck on a penny farthing. I shall be spending most of the stage wishing Fabs was still in the race. I’m also hoping that Astana have returned to the shiny skin suits of 2011.

As far as cows go, we’re in the Dorgogne and cowrespondent Geert (who calls these parts his second home) assures me that there are vaches to be seen.

 

We are fairly close to the birthplace of the Bazadais, a breed that was developed to work in the vineyards around Bordeaux. No wonder it goes so well with wine! It’s also a good choice for tonight, as I’m sure “strong calves” are key to TT success. Naturally, it is the choice for a steak with bordelaise sauce, which I remember fondly from our stay in the region last year. [If your browser is as tricksy as mine, you might need to refresh to get it to play nice with Instagram.]

 

Of course, we might also see some Limousin, which gives me the opportunity to post one of my favourite photos, from DiscoverVin.

Limousin near Limoges from DiscoverVin

 

What are we eating? Well, we’re a stage behind, having decided that a Saturday would be better to whip the recipe DiscoverVin suggested for Stage 19 – a slow-cooked dish of beef cheeks in red wine. It’ll be too late for you to do the same, but if you have a truffle on hand we’re certainly in the right place for that!

Stage 19: Maubourguet Pays du Val d’Adour > Bergerac

The end is in sight. We’ve turned north and are heading towards Paris. There’s just this fairly flat 208.5km and the time trial tomorrow before the final stage into Paris. There are points on offer for the climb of the Côte de Monbazillac but it’s only a Cat 4, so Majka’s coronation as King of the Mountains will happen as long as he makes it to Paris. Sagan has control over the green jersey, but is yet to cross the finish line first in it so that might motivate him tonight.

The really big question, though, is “Have we seen enough cows to warrant Cows with Guns?”.  I’m hoping that we have, but we are running out of time to add some more to the showreel if the compilation is looking a bit thin. Perhaps tonight will help.

We start in the region of the Blonde d’Aquitaine and finish close to Limousin territory. These are the third- and second-most popular breeds in France respectively, after the Charolais. Let’s hope France TV gives Sherliggett a break from enthusing about aerials and mines and gives them some lovely cattle to wax lyrical over.

1024px-Blonde_Aquitaine

Blonde d’Aquitaine

Image: Myrabella

Limousin

Limousin

Image: jacme31

Despite the fact that our two local breeds are beef cattle, it’s duck and pig that feature more heavily in the cuisine of the region (not that there’s anything wrong with that). I was tossing up with suggesting steak tartare to round off the week, but that’s not going to warm anybody’s cockles. This dish – Boeuf Cyrano – comes from Tarn, which is 150km east of our route today, but it stipulates prunes from Agen, a mere 24 km from Feugarolles. I’m confident that most of you keep a “tin of mousse de foie gras” in the pantry and you’ll have prunes left over from Gaté’s tart last night, so you should be able to whip this up in time for dinner. Ooh la la!

Stage 18: Pau > Hautacam

Another climbing stage today and another HC summit finish! What more could we ask for? Well, *ahem* vaches, that’s what. Don’t be distracted by the fact that the first marker on the stage profile is Nay, or that Peter Warren has tweeted pictures of moutons, we are climbing Tourmooooolet, goddammit, and we know there are cows in these parts.

Holly's cows 2Image: Agrifoglio

If we catch a glimpse of a local breed today, it will be the Gascon.

1024px-Gasconnes_Antignac_(11)Image: Père Igor

This is a hardy mountain breed that is well adapted to the harsh Pyrenean environment. They usually spend winters in the lowlands, but are found in the highlands during summer. Let’s hope the local farmers let them out to play. Béarnaise sauce is a speciality of the region – ignore the advice to spoon it over poached eggs or roasted fish. A steak is obviously the way to go.

Who to watch? Nibali will no doubt be up there, and – if he keeps his full-pois promise, Majka will want to show off the kit. Doubtless Valverde will give us a chance to hiss and Nico Roche will allow the Ps another chance to reminisce. I’ll be looking out for the French Siamese twins…