Stage 3: Ajaccio > Calvi

Jean François Pecheux’s description of this stage indicates he has a sadistic streak.

We are not going to hide our feeling of satisfaction: this is the kind of stage we’ve been looking for for years! It’s simple: there’s not a single metre of flat…

There are four categorised climbs over the 145km course, and quite a few cheeky looking ascents that are not counted for points. The longest is the 7.5km Cat 3 Col de San Martino, which averages 5.4%; the steepest is the final climb, the 3.3km long Cat 2 Col de Marsolino, which averages 8.1%.

Will last night’s veal inspire a Thomas Veau-ckler attack? Will FDJ give Vache-oh the chance to show off his new champions jersey on the climbs? Will Monsieur Froome-chien (thanks, Sir Alf) confound the fans again with an attack?

Paul Lamarra previewed the course and notes

Cycling around the golfe the Mediterranean, on my left, rolled onto rough sandy beaches with the ferocity of an ocean and on my right cows grazed in marshland among the reeds that some local cheesemakers still weave into baskets for moulding their cheeses.

So… eyes peeled, Team Vaches!

Maybe we’ll get some more coastal cow-viewing opportunities:


Image: Free Images Live

I’m not going to bang on about the absence of cheeses. By now I’m sure some of you have been grabbing at any fromage in sight. I won’t judge. If you are maintaining your commitment to Corsican vaches, however, try this Corsican beef stew. I offer no guarantees on its authenticity. In fact, I am rather dubious about it, given that it was cooked by a vegetarian for a British reality show and comes with this note:

Please note this recipe is the contestant’s own and has not been tested professionally. Like the Come Dine With Me contestants, you could be creating a culinary delight or dining disaster, so switch on your ovens and be bold.

You’ve been warned.

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