Stage 5: Round-up

Well, well, well cow fanciers – what did you make of that long, virtually cow-less stage? It was the day the breakaway *almost* made it home, and there was yet another nasty crash within the last 3km.

The breakaway almost made it home, in my mind because the peloton just can’t seem to get itself very organised. Sky had it’s best stage yet but Cav couldn’t follow up his intermediate sprint action at the end of the race, but he was there. Cav, Goss and Renshaw riding for rival teams is not a sight I’m used to seeing yet.

Our lead up commentator Matty Keenan got a bit misty eyed recalling Nibblies track back through the peloton. He zigged, and zagged and slipped in between cars … sounded like Matty was wishing it was him out there. And Kittel, who hasn’t been well all tour finally packed it in.

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Pie Rouge

Stage 5: Rouen > Saint-Quentin

Today’s 197km is flat. How flat? Pancake flat, according to the BBC. There are no categorised climbs and the intermediate sprint point is a little over halfway, at 109km. This is a day for the sprinters and we can hope to see one of those classic battles of the lead-out trains. Mark Cavendish would look to be a good bet on paper, but he came down in the last 3km of last night’s stage and we’ll have to wait and see what effect that will have today. Peter Sagan might be polishing a new dance move in anticipation of another win and Lotto will be fired up after Greipel’s stage four win.

Leaving the coast means moving away from those treacherous winds and – hopefully – the lumpy roads.  The first week nerves should be starting to settle – perhaps the peloton will stabilise at 195 riders for a while after losing Rabobank’s Tjallingii before stage four. Sky’s Svitsov and Movistar’s Rojas were also casualties of stage three. Those watching in timezone GMT +10 will be appreciative of a relatively early night.

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Stage 5: round-up

As Essjaymoo pointed out in her stage preview, last night’s stage was long and flat.  It was Brittany, though, so we expected some treacherous winds, but at times last night the cycling resembled a demolition derby.  Definitely more crash than vaches.  In fact the only cow sighting I got came at 61.3km.  The group was in the distance and could quite well have been horses given that they were the featured quadruped of the stage.

Sweet pasture, but no cows

Image: Zimbio

It fell to the SBS troll DJ to liven things up between accidents.

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Stage 5: Carhaix > Cap Fréhel

We start another long flat stage in Carhaix, Finistère – from Finis Terreæ or The End of the Earth.  Quaint.  And long, and flat.

The cows to look out for here are the Pied Rouge and the Pie Noir  – same as last two stages, so we should be able to identify them easily.

Breton (or Brittany) cows have travelled the world, credited variously with giving rise to Quebec Jersey cows in Canada, Guinea cattle of Florida and even St Helier breed sent to New South Wales via the Channel Islands. They produce high butterfat, yellow milk and butter and have a yellow tinge in their skin.  A small cow which gave milk up to 18 months after calving they were popular with small land holders.

Three days in Brittany have left your cow-respondents with an enduring craving for crepes and cider.  Luckily – we knew just the place to put our cravings to rest for a few weeks at least , Roule Galette in Melbourne with its traditional buckwheat crepes.  We *tried* to order cows’ milk cheese fillings – we really did!  But they didn’t have any so we had to have goats cheese (which is more traditional anyway).



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