Stage three: round-up

The best-laid plans and all that.  For all the tips we’ve been giving you on the local breeds to watch out for, our only quality sighting during stage three was a group of what looks to be Charolais.  It was a lovely group, though, and they are our mascot breed so we can’t help but be happy about that.

The Charolais Society of Australia website tells me that there are some sales coming up – I wonder whether they timed this to coincide with Le Tour and Bastille Day?

Perhaps this group is a little jaded by all the hype.  I think I recognised one from this clip (thanks to cowrespondent Bill for the link!):

The other (minor) sightings of distant cattle came at 109.6km, just before one of the world’s least picturesque windmills, and at 74.5km.  Vladimir Karpets of team Katusha did his best to help us out with a sighting by swapping over his bike and having the motorbike camera crew follow him as he attempted to regain the peloton, but the glimpse of cattle at 43.5km was fleeting. We need Jens back on domestique duties!

During the long, flat stretches in a stage characterised by some rather distracted commentary due to technical hitches with computer feeds, twitter attention turned again to the bizarre intros chosen to play us back from ad breaks.  Tweeter Catherine coined the nickname “Troll DJ” to describe whoever was in charge of programming, and a hashtag was born.  Standouts amongst the selections included:

  • Movin’ Right Along by Kermit and Fozzie Bear from the Muppets. Topical, in that the peloton was, well, moving right along
  • Take Five by Dave Brubeck, which accompanied a montage of riders looking relaxed, drinking, eating, checking maps
  • Eagle Rock by Daddy Cool. This had to be a nod to the twitchers, Paul Sherwen and Phil Liggett, who’d been remarking at some length on the bird life of the Breton estuary
  • Fiesta by The Pogues. The clip shows some bull-fighting, and the reigning champion is Spanish, but I’m wondering if this choice tapped into Lisa’s characterisation of Basque team Euskadel Euskadi as the “crashing carrots” because… clown. Music.

To the racing!  The stage ended with a fab sprint finish, which – as Essjaymoo observed – was a masterclass from HTC-Highroad in how not to lead out your man for the finish.  The God of Thunder retains the yellow jersey, but the green will be on Movistar’s Jose Joaquin Rojas.  Philippe Gilbert doesn’t have to get back into Belgian colours quite yet, as he’s going to be wearing the dots tonight and Geraint Thomas will be hoping he packed the Omo as he’ll be in white again.

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