Stage 1: Düsseldorf > Düsseldorf

It’s that time of the year again! Time to find the cord for your heated throw blanket, stock the fridge and the pantry with snacks and drinks, and warn colleagues, friends and family not to expect much of you before noon for the next three weeks. For this tour, we will need to develop some new hashtags as we won’t be seeing the usual #keeno and  #sherliggettisms. Hopefully #trolldj will still be keeping us entertained…

Tonight’s stage is a flat 14km time trial in Düsseldorf. No doubt Tony Martin will be motivated by being on home soil to put in a strong effort. Since we won’t be seeing any cows, perhaps we will see a win from Kwiatkowski? Australia’s big GC hope, Richie Porte, is the 172nd rider to head down the ramp – at 18:06 local time/2:06 EST in Australia – and will be circling the course ahead of some of the fancied time triallists. See the full list of start times here. I’m hoping the rain doesn’t have too much of an impact on the stage.

The Drinks List has made the eating and drinking decisions for me today. They suggest that veal schnitzel would go nicely with the wine for tonight’s stage – Fritz’s Riesling – and I’m never one to go past a schnitzel. Felicity Cloake’s recipe from The Guardian is my go to. It looks as though Gabriel Gate is offering 90 ways with potato for Taste le Tour‘s 2017 kickoff. He suggests mashed potato with his schnitzel, which ticks the dairy box with both butter and milk, although I like a bit of potato salad with mine. I’d be tempted by the caraway potatoes with quark, if I hadn’t already decided to quark it up with a cheesecake.


Here’s one I prepared earlier…

Bonne chance to those of you who have joined the #LVDT league on Velogames! I’ll try to remember to update the league standings. See you all on the couch in a few hours!

TDF 2015 – Quiz responses

Congratulations to S, winner of this year’s quiz. Of course there are many honourable mentions: contributors who balanced wit and accuracy; those who demonstrated how three weeks of Sherliggettisms can really worm their way into the brain, for better or worse; those who researched above and beyond and had me scratching my head as to whether the “right” answer should be the fact peddled by the commentators, or the actual answer…

It seems a shame to keep all that to myself, so here are some of the highlights.

1. In the excitement of the stage 1 time trial, where were Australian fans said to be sitting?

  • grilling their bums (Rusty)

2. Does Marcel Kittel only use Alpecin because they sponsor his team?

  • Yes, he was not telling the truth in the ads. (Neilly)
  • No, because there is an actual warning on the bottle that the caffeine may cause adverse findings for sportsman (I can provide a screenshot if required) (Froggies)

3. Whose hair is a better gauge of weather conditions at the finish: Robbie’s or Mike’s?

  • No idea, I was too distracted by the perfection of Robbie’s eyebrows. (Dzurlady)
  • Macka, on the other hand, was of no use in this situation (Froggies)

4. According to Paul, what does everybody want to be when they grow up?

  • Stephen Roche’s son, or nervous, or a big diesel engine, a head of state, or Ritchie Froome, a former mountain bike rider (Bag o’Spanners)
  • South African (Accidental Sunshine)
  • Actually I’ve decided they want to be a “Mountain Bike Rider” so they can be described as “a former mountain bike rider” and Paul and Phil can get paid more for the additional syllables. (S)
  • An astronaut, a dry stone waller, Paul Sherwen, rich and thin? (Neilly)

5. How can you differentiate between the Yates twins?

  • You can’t, they’re twins (Tete de la Course)
  • Easy, at last year’s TDF, Paul told us that Adam (who looks like his mother) was 2 years older than Simon (who looks like his father), but this year they just had different rider numbers (Bag o’Spanners)
  • If Phil said it was Simon, it was almost certainly Adam. (Froggies)

6. Which province is the hotbed of cycling?

  • Brittany is the hotbed of French cycling, but Lourdes is the hotbed of French cricket (Froggies)

7. What euphemism did the Ps use to refer to JC Péraud’s exposed bits in stage 13?

  • Whatever it was it was clearly effective, because I have no idea, despite being 100% focused on the commentary and only the commentary at that point of the race.  (Dzurlady)
  • I didn’t hear THAT but I had my selective deafness turned on. (Giveitaburl)

8. Speaking of shorts, why did Rohan Dennis choose black shorts for some stages?

  • If Matty Keenan mentioned it again I was going to throttle him! Rohan had a saddle sore and RODE 3,340kms with them!! one Aussie tough bloke!! Shaddup Matty!! (Sue)

9. How did Valverde end up with torn shorts in stage 6?

  • When taking the piss, one should always unclip properly, no matter how much a hurry you’re in (Bag o’Spanners)
  • He and Thibot Pinot went handbags at each other? (Rusty)
  • A “piss-hap” – silly clot fell off his bike while communing with nature. (S)
  • He was trying to turn out the lights… BOOM BOOM (Accidental Sunshine)

10. What was the punchline to Paul Sherwen’s hilarious stage 6 joke?

  • Naturally, nobody tried to be funnier in answering this question than the actual answer to the question. Who, after all, could beat the wheeze that was Puffin?

11. Which alliterative adjectives did the Ps use to describe the four GC favourites?

  • Fantastic, famous, fromage  (Dzurlady)

12. What is the 10th largest port in the world?

  • Since the Ps have problems with numbers I’d say Rotterdam but I think it’s actually Busan in South Korea by container volume.  (Tete de la Course)
  • Its Yingkou in China. A very odd question for TDF quiz, I would have thought Rotterdam as the 8th largest would have been more appropriate. (Bag o’Spanners)
  • The port that is larger than the 11th largest port in the world, but smaller than the 9th largest port in the world.  (Dzurlady)
  • Richie Porte (S)

13. Which past champion was mentioned ad nauseum during stage 3 and why?


14. In a team time trial, which rider do they take the time from?

  • Leeloo (Bag o’Spanners)
  • Hesjedal (Froggies)

15. Is Tejay a pilot fish or a goldfish?

  • Depends on whether he is going uphill or not, gasping. (Rusty)
  • After stage 17 when he went missing in action, I thought he was actually a clown fish called “Nemo”. (S)
  • A salmon, rising magnificently from the stream until he met an early end (Dzurlady)

16. How did Geraint Thomas say he would respond when the doctors asked his name after the stage 16 crash?

  • If it was Phil it’d be Richie Froome but he doesn’t need a knock to the head for that.  (Tete de la Course)

17. How did the Ps refer to Warren Barguil from stage 17 onwards?

  • Pass on this one. P&P have a somnolent effect on me. (Rusty)

18. What did Phil think this field art was?

Screen Shot 2015-08-01 at 3.21.12 pm

  • A Crested Grebe, a Vulture, a tractor, but the correct answer was “a bit shit really”. (Neilly)
  • It was, in fact, just a coq up. (Froggies)


19. As best you can, try to reproduce the way Paul Sherwen says “Département”.

  • De-party-month (Rusty)
  • Dep – aaarrrr – dew (Bag o’Spanners)

20. Who was the oldest rider in the Tour this year and how old was he?

  • Controversially, one of the youngest commentator this year was Jens Voigt at just 43 years of age. (Bag o’Spanners)
  • Some guy called Eddie Merckx, that they talked about ALL the time (70yo) (Froggies)
  • Well it wasn’t Jensie and Cadel has retired and Samu is 36 Quintana looks 45 but is only 25. (Sue)

21. Simplify the following Sherliggettisms:

  • in the descendancy: an adbreak (Bag o’Spanners); Mark Cavendish’s sprinting prowess (Froggies)
  • a southerly direction: Kim & Kanye’s next child (Froggies)
  • the dampness has disappeared: chateau renovations (Dzurlady)
  • hectometres: a very common phrase to define 10 decametres, or the less common 328 feet (Bag o’Spanners); I have an enormous intellect and I want to show it off to you imbeciles! (Accidental Sunshine)
  • sterile gap: Boring breakaway (Froggies)
  • the outskirts of time: hectometres (Accidental Sunshine)

Bonus question: if you were given a choice between having a dollar (AUD) every time the Ps mentioned the Roches, a Euro every time they mentioned Merckx, or a Swiss Franc every time they said “undulating”, which would you choose?

  • for the bonus, I’ll go the Swiss Franc for undulating. After all i can pay my UCI fines with those Francs. (Neilly)
  • Based on current international exchange rates, and the frequency used, a Euro for every time Merckx was mentioned would bail out Greece. (Froggies)

Chapeau to Dzurlady, who interpreted most of the Sherliggettisms as meaning “false flat”, hhhneilly – who answered each Sherliggettism with DRINK – and Rusty, who also played with the P&P obsession with repetition with “P&P have a somnolent effect on me” as a codicil to any answer that was a guess. Also to the Froggies, who went above and beyond with the entertainment value of their alternate answers.

Tour de France 2015

It’s about to begin – 21 nights of sleep deprivation, creative snackery, DJ trolling, Sherliggettisms and Sherliggettism-inspired irresponsible drinking, irresponsibly delicious use of butter (we hope! don’t let us down, Gabriel) and (we also hope) quality vache-spotting.

Cow in bikePhoto: John Weiler

I plan to tweet out the cheeses for the day in the morning of each stage, to give you a chance to get to your local cheesemonger. The stage preview will be published later in the day and will give a bit more information about the cheese, local cattle and maybe a recipe or two.

Now, make the most of the last couple of days of normal sleep!


Le Tour de France 2014 – the quiz

For three weeks, we watched as some of the world’s best road cyclists traversed France and beyond through rain, rain, rain, and even a few slivers of sunlight. Was ours the easy job? Well, we didn’t have to battle the elements, ride on after horrendous crashes or climb mountains, but we did have to face something the pro peloton was shielded from: maintaining sanity in the face of hours of sometimes bizarre commentary.

Our efforts needn’t have been in vain, though. There’s always the chance to put this knowledge to use by attempting the LVDT quiz. There will be a prize for the winner! Entries close Monday at 8.30pm AEST. Email your responses by then and let’s see which fan reigns supreme!

    How many Sundays are there in the Tour de France?
    Where should you ride in the peloton?
    What is the nickname of this year’s winner?
    Which city is he from?
    How old is Jens Voigt?
    How old is Chris Horner?
    When the race started, who was the youngest rider?
    How many kids does Jens have?
    Why was Stephen Roche mentioned with such frequency?
    Which stage saw Nibs v gormless-selfie-taker?
    According to the Ps, what was the biggest challenge (for fans) in the opening stage?
    What is remarkable about the walls in Yorkshire?
    What do you think was portrayed in the unseen field art of the school kids (provide a description or image)?
    What causes picture breakup?
    What does the number beside place names denote?
    Match the rider and birthplace: Voeckler/Reza Guadeloupe/Martinique
    What does a peloton never do?
    How many times has Tony Martin won the World Time Trial championship?
    Which ministries did the Ps award to Voeckler?
    Was our roadside pachyderm an Asian or African elephant?
    Which nation was represented for the first time?
    What was that riders nickname?
    Where did he finish?
    What was the theme for this year’s field art?
    What does a cyclist carry in his suitcase?
    If he wasn’t a pro cyclist, what would Tommy Voeckler be?
    What key possession did airport security confiscate from Kittel?

Tour de France: fantasy league

Before you tell me that Fabs isn't riding this year, I'll remind you that this is Fantasy Cycling.

Before you tell me that Fabs isn’t riding this year, I’ll remind you that this is Fantasy Cycling.

Image: Zimbio

With 13 days to go until the 2013 edition of Le Tour kicks off, this might just be the time to test your luck with a fantasy cycling team. Once again, Velogames has a competition up and running, with prizes for the overall winner, podium placings and stage winners. You can also join the Les Vaches du Tour mini-league – code 15165543. The overall winner of the league will get a cows t-shirt of their choice.  If the number 13 treats you particularly shabbily and you end up as Lanterne Rouge, some Udderly Smooth chamois cream might salve your wounded pride.

30 days to go

How will you fill your time?

  • Watch the Dauphiné. Check out the form of some TdF hopefuls and admire the Alpine scenery for a taste of the coming Tour. The race starts Sunday, with live coverage on Eurosport from 9.00pm AEST and replayed on SBS2 from 10.45pm AEST (there will be live streaming on Cycling Central from 9.15pm).
  • Read 100 Tours 100 Tales for stories of Tours past.
  • Look at some pictures. See the official exhibition in Paris and Sydney (coming to Melbourne on 15 July), or visit Marsham in the UK for a collection of fan photos and memorabilia.
  • Study the route. If you are going to be there, plan where you will stake out a position (preferably a place where the TV cameras – or even Team Vaches – will pick up your frantic #kermitarms).

Kermit Arms

  • Brush up on Sherliggettisms.


It’ll be time for the Grand Départ before you know it!