Stage 20: Round-up

A gorgeous Parisian afternoon, a totally dominant team, and finally a win for a Briton in Le Tour.  We even got to see a bit of his sense of humour when he declared he was going to draw the raffle numbers from the podium.

I’m not sure that the planned live singing had the same effect as unexepected last minute Tina Arena singing had, or maybe it’s just that anthem sounded so very strange in that context. 

It was a lovely moment when the peloton sent Chris Horner and George Hincapie on ahead to enter the Champs Elysees first.  And I really enjoyed Jens Voigt motoring along in the breakaway and making Cav earn his final stage victory for the year.

For posterity I guess; trhe other jerseys were awarded to Peter Sagan (Green), Thomas Voeckler (KotM) and Tejay Van Garderen (White).

Thanks to all who joined us this year.  We’ve had a blast and have enjoyed “hanging out” with you on twitter and facebook.

Now dry your eyes with a kangaroo and join me in some final pics.

All together now (one last time?)

I was amused to see someone found our blog by googling “tejay van garderen shirtless” – I can’t give you that – but I can give you Tommy Veau-ckler at the beginning of the stage yesterday.  You can see the grins on the Liquigas team behind him, they were slow handclapping as well.

Tommy Voeckler changes shirt to the amusement of Team Liquigas

 This time last year Tina Arena sang the national anthem as Evans made sporting history by becoming the first Australian Tour winner. Today Cowdel spoke candidly of his feelings at the end of the 99th TdF

“Last year was a realisation of a career of dreams,” he said. “This year … it’s not full of disappointments, but certainly below expectations. Always, finishing off a Tour is a satisfaction.

“Winning is a lot more fun. This sport is a lot easier when you’re winning. When you’re having a bad time … it’s the hardest sport in the world.”

Champion indeed. 

A nice moment between Wiggo and Cuddles

It’s been interesting to read and see the media response to Wiggins win and Froome’s 2nd place and compare it to what we experienced here in Australia last year.

  Yes I did manage to find some Vache from the final stage:

 

#trolldj

Someone else found our blog by googling “what is trolldj Tour de France” – although not our invention, were proud to join the throng of folks congratulating #trolldj on a fantastic tour. Last night we heard a few remixes of favourites from throughout the tour, and a few that were tweeted during the last stage, so either #trolldj loves the twitters, or we’re plainly too obvious in our requests.  You’re got a year to dig out the more obscure ones folks!

#trolldj credit from SBS TV coverage

  • “Heaven” Emili Sande – opening montage showing highlights of Le Tour
  • “Moving Right Along” Kermit and Fozzie – as you would 🙂
  • Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) – Greenday lots of smiling and laughing riders on the last day heading in to Paris.
  • “Foux da Fafa” – Flight of the Conchords – another crowd favourite.
  • “Well Did You Evah” -Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby “What a swell party this is”
  • “Yellow” – Coldplay – der
  • “Parlez-Vous Francais” – Art vs Science “The Champs-Elysees is a busy street”
  • “Better” – Tom Baxter – Closing montage.

And finally – yes Injera – I did eat the ‘spreadable wedges”. In honour of the defending champion I thought I should do a little ‘us” vs “them playoff. Despite the “new and improved” stamp our La vache qui rit is still made in Poland and still tastes a lot worse than good old Kraft cheese wedges.  The 70% more calcium is a touch troubling as well.

70% more calcium!

 

Stage 20: Rambouillet > Paris Champs-Élysées

We’re heading into Paris today. The jersey wearers are all sorted, so this 120km stage is bound to feel a bit flat for more than just topographic reasons. Let’s try to think back 12 months to get a feeling for how excited British fans will be as they watch the usual final day champagne-and-posing antics while the peloton cruises towards the Champs-Élysées. And let’s all get behind Matt Goss to break up Sky’s domination of the day and finish the Tour with a stage win for Orica GreenEdge.


Rough outline of the Stage 20 route

If you select photos in Google Maps, you will see that there are some nice architectural features that have been shot along the route. There’s even a rather large goose in a field, but no vaches. As Essjaymoo discovered when researching last year’s roll into Paris, this is not an area that is rich in the bounty of the bovine. The LVDT team was reduced to sampling a range of processed cheeses last year. Those cows may laugh, but it’s a task I’m not willing to endure again, even in the name of LVDT research. I’m sure nothing has changed in those tried and *ahem* true recipes, anyway. What corporation is willing to risk a New Coke debacle these days?

What I’m planning to do to honour all the lovely cows we’ve seen over the past few weeks is to bring beef and dairy together by cooking a simple steak with a locationally-appropriate Café de Paris butter. This recipe from Australian Gourmet Traveller even includes frites. Well, why not?

It would be a bit of an anti-climax to have a final stage preview with no pictures of cows, so here is a photo from the 1926 Tour de France:

She looks like a Montbéliarde – what say you, Team Vaches?

 Image: Museum Syndicate

Thanks for joining us on our second Tour de France avec vaches. It’s been a fun ride.  Of course, there’ll be a round-up post tomorrow, as well as the announcement of the winning team in the Fantasy League!

And stay tuned for our wrap-up competition, which will go live on the blog on Tuesday at 8.30pm AEST.

Stage 20: Grenoble > Grenoble

It’s the individual time trial and we know what that means.  Either we’ll see no cows at all, or the same cows over and over and over again (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

The riders won’t have time to check the signage tonight.

Image: Tim

Of course, with Cowbell so close to taking yellow, we’ll forgive you if you are too nervous to spot bovines tonight.  Cowbell is not up until just after midnight, though, so perhaps cow-spotting will have a calming effect.  If you do see cows, see if you can identify the Montbéliarde, Villard-de-Lans or even Abondance.

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