Stage 2: Round-up

Tonight’s revelation was the reason for the absence of field art in the first few days of Le Tour. No matter how wide the shot, or how sweeping the vista … we saw no agricultural sculptures. I was pretty disappointed as there were some absolute beauties last year … until I remembered that they appear as part of a competition organised by the National Federation of Farmer’s Union of France,  and well … we’re still in Belgium!  I know what this year’s theme is, but it would be no fun if I told you all just yet.  We were very lucky with last year’s theme, it was cows 🙂 I’m very relieved to know that the prize for best exhibition hasn’t been swallowed by the GFC.

Gabriel Gate’s segment tonight proved us to be an easily excited bunch. Last night’s pre-emptive Vache spotting was completely outdone by Gabriel’s exploration of the countryside around Liege featured many lovely Vache, the excellent small goods produced and over 100 varieties of cheese, oh my! The most famous of which is Fromage de Herve,which we see being made, see it being eaten, have it explained to us that good pasture gives good milk ….but no mention of what kind of milk!  *sigh* so I googled and it is indeed made from Vache milk!  Hooray!

Fromage de Herve Source: Wikipedia

Anyway … over to the greyhounds for this stage (or the chicken/pandas if you prefer*)

But first, Michael Morkov made sure he was with the early breakaway to grab the one and only King of the Mountain point in this stage.

And then, we travelled at a decent pace across Walloonia, with only a few moments of vaches-based excitement, but with plenty of excellent #trolldj moments.

The march theme from “The Great Escape”  accompanied pictures of the breakaway… umm … breaking away.

Stealers Wheel playing “Stuck in the Middle with You”  accompanied clips of Wiggins being thoughtful- “and I’m wondering what it is I should do”;  smiling riders – “so hard to keep this smile on my face”; wobbling wheels – “losing control yeh, I’m all over the place; large figures – “clowns to the left of me”; laughing riders – “jokers to the right”, Jens Vogt is “stuck in the middle with you”.

If anyone can fill me in on what the larger than life people puppets are that we saw occasionally by the side of the road I’d appreciate it.

BTO’s “Taking Care of Business” was accompanied by shots of the “daily business” of being part of Le Tour; of Cav swappingng his bike;  Riders getting running medical treatment; getting time splits; eating lunch etc

Then we moved on to The Downton Fiction and “I Just Wanna Run” with shots of the breakaway “run (ning) cause they’re chasing me down”.

And finally we saw lots of footage of Spartacus accompanied by “The Warrior’s Code” by the Dropkick Murphy’s with lyrics such as:

You’re the fighter you’ve got the fire
The spirit of a warrior, the champion’s heart
You fight for your life because the fighter never quits
You make the most of the hand you’re dealt
Because the quitter never wins
No!

#trolldj has certainly lifted his/her/its game this year.

Some of you might have seen that I was out at a truffle dinner last night – so didn’t really join in the fun until the last little bit (and if truth be known I think I fell asleep on the couch (come on – canal history? really … snoore), but that didn’t stop the wonderful Team Vache from tweeting up whenever a cow was spotted – so here they are.

COW SIGHTINGS

 

Eagle-eyed @spyjournal pointed these out

Two herds of cows in the Chateau grounds

41.6 Km

 

@tourdecouch spotted this helmet yesterday and we got great visuals of it last night

Thanks to Images: @jonowee for these pics

 

14.9 km

 

Kittel and Cow 11.7 km

 

Mark Cavendish was first across the line after a suspenseful, and at times a bit scary, last 15 kilometers in which three or four lead-out trains were assembling at once.

Fabian Cancellara retained yellow and spent a bit of time chatting to the King of Belgium on the podium. He’s seven seconds ahead of Bradley Wiggins (currently the leader in the cycling Oscars after his display of being despondent after Stage 1); and Sylvain Chavenel.  He’s also leading the points race from early darling of the commentators, Peter Sagan.

Me?  I’m going to spend the night trying to work out how to get pics off my PVR and onto this blog (apologies for the crap quality) and planning a trip to Belgium – very impressed by the Vaches and the townships in Walloon.

 

*according to The Inner Ring – Peter Sagan’s posturing as he crossed the finish line for stage one was supposed to mimic a panda followed by a chicken.  We can’t make these things up.

 

2 thoughts on “Stage 2: Round-up

  1. Pingback: Tour de France 2012 – Stage 2 « Visible Procrastinations

  2. hhhneil says:

    Lots of Belgian towns have those giant puppets. From Wikipedia’s entry on Beveren;
    “Like many other cities in Belgium, Beveren has a collection of giant puppets who take part in most of the local festivities. The two oldest ones were baptized in 1954.”

    They are apparently to do with the town’s history.

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