Even before the race started, we had cows! Cowrespondent Chris, of the YarraBUG Radio team, tweeted a link to the weather cam on the Brittany coast, near Morbihan. Essjaymoo checked it out and noticed cows.
This buoyed our hopes of a cow-friendly stage and we were not disappointed. As early as 92.6km we were able to spot some beasts not dissimilar to the above cows. They were far too indistinct to even attempt a positive ID, so naturally I’m going to tell you that my prediction was correct and we spotted Maine-Anjou. At 65.6km we got our first sighting of black pied cattle. Could it be a group of the rare Pie Noir?
At 59.3km it was possible to see a group of light brown/tan cattle in a pasture to the left of the peloton. It wasn’t possible to get even a blurry photo of them, so they really could be just any old cows, but why don’t we call them Froment du Léon, just so I can use the google translation of this page:
It’s unlikely that they were FdLs, as the herd is currently estimated to be only 400 strong, but perhaps we can start a movement for its resuscitation. Golden, fat-rich butter? Sounds good to me.
As the peloton rolled through the 60 to 50 kilometres, more cows could be seen and Paul Sherwen noted that the area was known for its beef and cheeses. The best sighting was still to come, though. At 26.4km, twitter lit up as this appeared in view:
And then we saw its paddock-mates:
Now, Paul Sherwen noticed this group and identified them as Friesians. Perhaps he is correct, but let’s look at recent evidence. Paul lives in Africa for a good portion of the year yet pronounces the name of one of the continent’s magnificent cats as lay-oh-pard. It could well be that the local farmers have convinced Paul that “friesian” is the correct pronunciation of “Pie Noir”.
Cattle action tonight was matched by the action on the road. Cowdel Evans overcame some mechanical setbacks to take the stage in a photo-finish against Cowntador. In doing so, he managed to get the glory of a stage win (his first “on the day” win, as his previous stage was granted only after Vinocowrov1 had been disqualified after his time trial result) without having to carry the burden of the yellow jersey. The God of Thunder is enjoying his days in yellow and kept up at the finish to retain that jersey for another day. Even if the weather is clear today, we at HQ Les Vaches are hoping that he sticks with the black bib. Rojas is still in green and Thomas in white, but Cowdel will be carrying the spots tonight. Maybe he’ll serve as a pied piper and bring some more Pie Rouge out to the course.
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1. Thanks to cowrespondent Bill for the nickname!