Stage 11: Pau > Cauterets – Vallée de Saint-Savin

The 188km from Pau to Cauterets takes in six categorised climbs. The big one is the Col de Tourmelet which, unlike last night’s climb, will be familiar to both viewers and riders, but it’s not as though the others are just a walk in the Parc National des Pyrénées (at least, for anyone but Froome). Has he thrown down the hammer so hard that his rivals will be focussed on getting to Paris safely with a view to salvaging their seasons at the Vuelta? Judging by some of the Twitter reaction, a number of fans are doing just that!

Today’s route takes us through Lourdes, which means that we will once again be looking for the lovely Lourdais, most likely in vain.


Image: Thomas Brown

There is nothing more I can add to the information from 2011, which is disappointing. With a number of endangered breeds, each time I search I find new pages or interesting updates which gives me hope that the herd is strengthening. Perhaps its inclusion in this brain teaser is a sign that its star is on the rise…

Now, Lourdes claims Loures-Barousse cheeses, which I’ll leave for tomorrow, and Tarbes beans – our starting point yesterday – as mainstays of their cuisine. I’m not ruling Tarbes out on the basis of being yesterday’s hero so feel free to whip up a calf’s foot salad with Tarbais beans. I might give that a miss – it’s hard to make friends with salad at the best of times, but in winter?  I’m still looking to Tarbes with this braised beef cheek by Tarbes native, Pierre Koffman. For cheese, stick with the sheep (and add some goat) and enjoy some delicious Roy de Vallees.

One thought on “Stage 11: Pau > Cauterets – Vallée de Saint-Savin

  1. craig says:

    Man it was so much more exciting racing when the riders reached the mountains last night. And the communal commentary on the #sbstdf hashtag had me in stitches! Looking forward to the Tourmelet! Through basque country and boom boom out go the lights (whatever that means!)

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