Stage 15 seemed like a preliminary rest stage for viewers – the lack of tension in the race prompted Essjaymoo to instigate a late-night roll-call to make sure we hadn’t all nodded off. Still, we can’t be too critical. We’re all worn out from a couple of weeks of late nights; these guys have covered 2760.4km. A day off will do us all good.
Today is the first of two rest days, giving us the chance to get some perspective on the first ten days of racing. Despite the often apocalyptic build-up to last night’s time trial there is still a lot of racing to do. I’m sure the guys who will be doing the work know this; they know that the remainder of the race isn’t just about resigning themselves to their current place and fighting it out over stage wins. They will also no doubt be rolling their legs over despite it being a day of rest and my advice is to take some guidance from the pros. You don’t need to stay up until the wee hours, but remember: you’ve spent a week getting into the new rhythm. Watch the highlights on SBS at 10.00PM AEST, perhaps catch up on some of the videos on Cycling Central, and think about getting a slow braise on that will fortify you over the coming nights.
The Tour caravan will be spending the day in Mâcon, which is about 60km from Charolles, the capital of the old Charolais district. I would like to say that it remains “the centre of trade” in the eponymous cattle, however that particular note in Wikipedia was from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition. It is possible things have changed since 1911. Still, we’ve a good chance of spotting some when the race starts up again tomorrow.
Image: Boongalla Organics Australia
So, the tour overnights in the small town of Le Lioran (which I can’t help but associate with DeLorian) in the Department of Cantal and it’s time to rest. Time to dry off that lycra and air those shoes and take a break from spotting cows in the nearby hills. Time for a decent feed, a glass of wine and a bit of a break from the hoopla around Le Tour. After yesterday – I’m sure all are looking forward to a break.
We, Les Vaches, are very pleased to share with you another “first person” perspective on this region of France. This time we’ve very pleased to share with you some remembrances from Nic Poelaert, chef/owner of Embrasse Restaurant in Carlton, Melbourne. Nic grew up in Northern France, but spent holidays in the Auvergne Region. Voted Young Chef of the Year 2010, his restaurant holds one hat in the Age Good Food Guide, and just a few weeks ago he won Food Service Australia Chef of the Year 2011.