One week to go

Team rosters are being announced daily and whilst we will miss seeing some of our favourite riders contest the flat stages (no Moonen), rally their teams (no Bernie) and fill out a skin suit (no Cowncellara), there’s a lot to look forward to. Naturally we want to see Cowbell Evans doing well and I’ve had a special affection for Andy Schleck ever since he expressed a desire to make a bovine transformation. Cowntador should be cownted on to bring the attacks to Froome, who will have the wonderful, wonderful Bovine-Bison-Hagen in his corner. Let’s not forget Cowvendish in the points competition.

Of course, if all else fails, there are the vaches! We will be at the finish in Montpellier and Tours, and then pretty much following the Tour in our little rented car from Lyon onwards. Our itinerary gives us the chance to preview the Brittany stages, so I hope to be able to advise of potential vache-tastic viewing ahead of time.

Team Vaches was on the ball as usual this week, drawing attention to the excellent news that cows had been spotted during Garmin-Sharp’s alpine recons.

Vache HQ is currently in Barcelona and desperately trying to make on-the-road connectivity happen – everything is crossed that the mobile hotspot will suddenly start playing nice. Today we are visiting the pro-cyclists’ favourite base, Girona, and next week it’s France.

Allez!

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Image: Ryder Hejsedal

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.

Sherliggettisms

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

 

Getting ready for Le Tour Part II

Hello there to all our new cow loving,  cycle-toting friends!

Three weeks to go …  just about.  I’m starting to get excited about the individual stages of the tour,  starting with our jumping off spot,  le Grand Depart,  at Passage du Gois on the Atlantic coast in the North West of France. The start sees the pack traversing a bluestone causeway that is cut by high tides. If I was organising Le Tour I might be tempted to pop this bit in at the end of a stage,  to see who gets there before they have to swim across. (That there is quite possibly why I’m not organising Le Tour I guess).  Here’s a link to the glossy start page on the official web site.

Injera has provided some great practical advice for preparing yourself for this year’s tour,  I thought I’d follow up with some quick notes on how technology (well really,  twitter) can provide excellent insight into what goes on behind the scenes of the tour.

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One month to go

If you haven’t been out on the bike climbing hills regularly it’s probably too late to start training for Galibier now,  but there is still some preparation you can do before the Tour starts.

Clear your IQ/DVR

Most of us will need to function at work during the three weeks of the Tour,  so this means watching all stages live might not be the work-life balance your employer has in mind.  Delayed viewing comes with the risk of having stage results spoiled,  but at least you’ll be able to pause for cow spotting.
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