It’s Bastille Day, the longest stage of the Tour, and a summit finish on Mont Ventoux. Honestly, what more can I say? Whatever there is to say will be said on the road tomorrow. In the meantime, if you haven’t had a read of The Inner Ring’s article about the mountain, do so.
As for cows, this is another cleverly designed stage with no indigenous breed to discuss. If we see cattle, they might even be Salers or even Aubrac, both of which originate west of the route but whose meat has been spotted in local butchers in these parts. Yes, I’m clutching at straws. Stage 12 last year finished in Annonay and we did see Charolais along that route, although further east than what the riders will be going today. Let’s hope for some field art!
The bovine-related food specialties for this particular corridor of the Rhône-Alpes and Provence are scarce. Further east and we’ll be talking about all the wonderful alpine cheeses; north has more of the beefy stews. There is a dish, though, that is a mainstay on the menus of Lyonnaise bouchons: raie au beurre noir. It’s a fish dish, but butter is probably the key ingredient. It’s also absolutely delicious.
M Vache and I won’t be at the start in Givors, but we’ll be zooming around in our Oooropcar trying to catch glimpses of the race as it heads towards the Big Climb. Wish us luck with navigating all the Routes Barrées.