Koeien van de Eneco Tour: round-up

Seeing cows in every stage of the Eneco Tour has prompted me to consider adding some time in Belgium and the Netherlands to the 2013 Tour itinerary. Here’s what the Eurosport coverage brought us over the past seven days.

Shortly after this, the BMC team crashed. CJ raised the possibility that the smudge above one of the cows might, in fact, be the plume of a smoking gun… Cows with Guns. We know they’re out there.

Some sightings were clear…

 

…whilst others were a bit sketchy.

 

Patience was rewarded.

Squint at the blobs just above the “pause” symbol and I think you’ll agree that we have some Lakenvelder.

These guys welcomed the breakaway.

Thanks, Carrie, for alerting me to the final stage’s bovine riches.

That’s it for the Eneco Tour. Lars Boom (Rabobank), with his second place finish in the final stage, took the white jersey of the overall winner. Radioshack’s Nizzolo won the points classification and de Vreese of Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator was awarded the Combative prize. Luke Durbridge finished fifth overall, just behind Contador who showed that we can look forward to a good performance from him in the Vuelta (although he might want to ease back in the opening Team Time Trial).

The Vuelta a España starts on Saturday. You thought the Tour de France was tough? Eurosport is advertising a 2.45am start for the first stage. Ouch. I think there’ll be significant time-shifting.

 

Eneco Tour stage one: round-up

I had no confidence that we would see cattle this early in the Eneco Tour. In fact, when I saw Carrie’s tweet this morning I read it as a greeting. I switched on the recording and settled in for the Return of Contador. The racing seemed a bit relaxed and I was pleased I’d decided to time-shift my viewing. At around 82km to go was a group of schapen and, shortly afterwards, a group of cows. Quite possibly some bovian, which Kranky Kids tells me is a recently developed crossbreed.

Image: Kranky Kids

The weather for the first part of the race was dire – or “grizzly”, as Carlton Kirby preferred to say – and the pace of the peloton meant that the Eurosport coverage dropped out before the race was even in its final 40km. Fortunately, there’s always twitter.

There were koeien!

Cows of the Eneco Tour

The 7-stage Eneco Tour starts tomorrow and cows will be pretty thin on the ground for at least the first couple of stages. At least we’ll have Cowntador to fill the bovine brief (although I suspect he might be choosing the chicken over the beef at the team buffet). Stage three – 188km from Riemst to Genk – might offer some chances to cow-spot, but it’s the 213.3km fourth stage – from Heers to Bergen op Zoom – that might be the best bet.

Image: Chiel van Waart

The Eneco Tour is being broadcast on Eurosport, so will be a #SherLiggettism free zone. We’ll have to make our own #trolldj fun, too.