It’s the first Cat 1 climb of the tour, and the summit of the Col d’Aspin is only 7km from the finish, so it looks as though we’ll need every seatbelt at our disposal in the couch peloton. The stage is a relatively short 162.5 km with a lumpy approach to the only other climb, the Cat 4 Côte de Capvern at 117km. The sprint points are available at the 137km mark, so it seems the Ps will get to call all the awards tonight. After his win yesterday, Cav is back in green but no other jerseys change hands.
We will be on the lookout for Gascon cattle today. Back in 2011 we were in this area in stage 14, and Paul Sherwen talked up the breed:
Well, what would be rather nice if we could spot round here, there is a very well-known rare race of cows, the belle Gascon. They’re actually white cows, but the youngsters have a brown coat.
And, lo, we actually spotted some! Here’s what to look out for:
Image: Père Igor
What should we be eating and drinking? Well, last night I cheated on the bovines and made a lamb stew with lots of malbec. Tonights wine is madiran, which is traditionally used in this daube de boeuf (along with armagnac, and chocolate!). Of course, being so close to Toulouse, it’s a good opportunity for a cassoulet…
Our friends at DiscoverVin suggest some saucisson or other charcuterie to match the madiran and that, to me, sounds like a nice way to spend a Friday night.