Pyrenees Cheese and Wine

Sometimes  I wonder why I write this blog… all for fun… no remuneration… oh… umm… oops – yes well – umm… now that you mention it… yes that *is* in fact the  aftermath of a recent wine and cheese tasting – all in the name of Les Vaches of course.   Ahem.


So – one of our fabulous supporters, DiscoverVin, knows an awful lot about the wines of South West France, around those wonderful Pyrenees mountains. The Tour is travelling anti-clockwise this year so around Stage 10 (July 12) the tour will head down towards the Pyrenees.

So you’ve got a bit of time to get organised – but DiscoverVin and our good selves have done some of the hard work for you.  Yes – what to drink and what cheese to eat!  The wines come in a handy six-pack, ready for you. The cheese was chosen with the assistance of Anthony Femia, cheesemonger (and proud cow-respondent!) who takes care of the cheese at the Richmond Hill Cafe and Larder.

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Don’t like Mondays?

If you are suffering from a bit of Mondayitis today,  get used to it –  the next three Mondays are going to be even tougher.  That’s right –  le Tour starts this weekend,  so get your circadian rhythms in order for some late night viewing. To get yourself into the right frame of mind,  we’d like to hear about your favourite and/or memorable Tour viewing moments.

Head over to our Facebook page.  Add your comment and tag Calvin S Wine in your response and,  if you are one of the first 21,  he’ll send you a stubby holder and give you free shipping on an order containing cheese from iDELI (Australia only) for the duration of the tour.

Les Vaches est dans le journal!

Les Vaches is in the newspaper!  The Sydney Morning Herald,  to be specific,  where cow-respondent Rupert Guinness (wearing his day-job cycling correspondent hat) describes us as one of the “subcultures lurking beneath the subculture”  of Le Tour fans.

We are proud to be mentioned in same “breath”  as The Devil!  If you want pictures of the other subcultures mentioned,  you can google those yourself…

Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer

Here at Les Vaches HQ we are excited to announce that we will have an official cowrespondent on the ground for Le Tour.  Rupert Guinness,  of the Sydney Morning Herald,  will be heading off to France shortly to cover the race.  While his focus is clearly on the cycling he will be keeping an eye out for any cattle-and-cycling related news for us.  He is already on top of cow news –  this afternoon he tipped us off to the antics of Irish cow Daisy.

Why was Daisy so keen to escape?

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Tour of Rwanda

You might not recognise many of the names in the start list of the Tour of Rwanda,  which took place last year. It was not one of the races on the schedule for this year’s Tour hopefuls,  but where else are you going to see anything quite as magnificent as the Ankole-Watusi?

Perhaps an enterprising French cattleman has started a herd somewhere in Provence.  Spotting these cows in the countryside would give Paul Sherwen the perfect opportunity to fill some airtime with African proverbs.

Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day;  give him a cow and there might even be leftovers.

Okay,  I made that one up…  maybe Paul can share a cow-centred African proverb or two?

Les Vaches du chaos!

You know that our mission here at Las Vaches du Tour is to bring cows and bikes together. Metaphorically we thought …  but overnight at the Dauphiné Libéré,  some cows took us on –  literally.  A herd of cows joined the peloton from the side of the road.  They caused quite a bit of chaos,  unfortunately bringing Euskaltel rider Mikel Landa down and breaking some of his bones.

Here’s some vision with French commentary showing the incident. There are many repetitions of the words for “the cows”  and a lovely giggle. Make sure you watch on until 0:52 for some lovely cow video.

To hear Paul Sherwen’s commentary on the cows … here is a link.   He hasn’t seen an incident involving cows and riders before … oops!   (no really,  I’m sure they haven’t heard about this site,  I’m not taking responsibility.)

Oh …  and some results?  After saturday’s stage 6 Bradley Wiggins is leading,  with a 1:26 lead over Cadel Evans and 1:52 on Alexender Vinokourov.

Oh …  and the cows?   I think they may be Simmentals…

Tour de Suisse

When you think of Switzerland what springs to mind?  Chocolate,  fondue,  cow bells,  yodelling,  alpen horns,  Heidi…

Okay,  so forget Heidi –  she was,  after all,  a goat girl –  but Switzerland is all about the cows. Oh,  and the watches.  And heavily armed neutrality.   In fact,  the cows probably only wear bells to warn people they’re packing heat.

The Tour of Switzerland starts tonight and whilst some people use it to check the alpine form of riders slated for Le Tour there will be ample opportunities to spot ruminants. Watch out for the original “how now brown cow”:  the literally-named Brown Swiss. You might also spot some Simmental. Perhaps they might be herded by the Swiss cattle dog,  the Sennenhund.

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Getting ready for Le Tour Part II

Hello there to all our new cow loving,  cycle-toting friends!

Three weeks to go …  just about.  I’m starting to get excited about the individual stages of the tour,  starting with our jumping off spot,  le Grand Depart,  at Passage du Gois on the Atlantic coast in the North West of France. The start sees the pack traversing a bluestone causeway that is cut by high tides. If I was organising Le Tour I might be tempted to pop this bit in at the end of a stage,  to see who gets there before they have to swim across. (That there is quite possibly why I’m not organising Le Tour I guess).  Here’s a link to the glossy start page on the official web site.

Injera has provided some great practical advice for preparing yourself for this year’s tour,  I thought I’d follow up with some quick notes on how technology (well really,  twitter) can provide excellent insight into what goes on behind the scenes of the tour.

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One month to go

If you haven’t been out on the bike climbing hills regularly it’s probably too late to start training for Galibier now,  but there is still some preparation you can do before the Tour starts.

Clear your IQ/DVR

Most of us will need to function at work during the three weeks of the Tour,  so this means watching all stages live might not be the work-life balance your employer has in mind.  Delayed viewing comes with the risk of having stage results spoiled,  but at least you’ll be able to pause for cow spotting.
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