Today’s 201km stage takes in thirteen climbs. Thirteen! And for those of us who thought that Buttertubs was a name that would not be bettered, I present the first of tonight’s categorised hills: the Côte de Blubberhouses. Probably not as much of a contender as a term of endearment, though. It’s not the toughest of the climbs, but with 12 more to follow riders will no doubt be digging into those suitcases of courage before the day is over. I’ll be paying particular attention to Oxenhope Moor, of course, but it’s the final climb at Jenkin Road that is tipped to be the key to the stage. Jens should make the most of his day in the dots, as the KOM points over the nine categorised bumps will be hotly contested today.
We know that Yorkshire has dairy cattle – we saw them yesterday and those of us who were well organised sampled some of their output – but I haven’t been able to find an indigenous breed. As we pass through the (H)uddersfield area we might spot a herd of Meuse Rhine Issel and you’d be right if you were thinking “that doesn’t sound very Yorkshire-y”. Still, it’s a breed we haven’t met before and perhaps the sight of them will inspire the Dutch contingent.
Image: Kranky Kids
Hopefully none of these cows were implicated in the shocking doping scandal that rocked last year’s Great Yorkshire Show. You can read the full story at the link, but I’ll leave you with two words: Udder. Tampering.
So, what should you be eating tonight? Ribblesdale has West Yorkshire roots, however it is made of goats milk. I finally got my act together with some Wensleydale, but if you want a change, Lancashire is not too far away. I drank all my Samuel Smith beer last night; tonight, it’s Theakston’s Old Peculier.