Stage 8: Round-up

My final tweet last night was something along the lines of – what an amazing stage. And it was; full of dramatic moments, great moves, passion and despair. You can’t plan moments like this, and for better or worse, these kind of stages are a large part of why highlights packages can never give you the whole story.  Thank you SBS Cycling Central.

Gabriel went all “Will Studd” on us and showed some cheese making, but then went on to ruin all that good work to cook with veal!  Hang on is that good or bad? Delicious sure but … Oh, I don’t know anymore, extreme fatigue has set in. I do want to know though if he has any other tools in his kitchen apart from a fork, a teaspoon and a palette knife? #oldskool

When we joined the telecast Jensie had set off by himself, across the gap chasing Kruijswijk from Rabobank. When the motorbike camera man caught up to them I caught my breath when I realised just how close they were to the riders, and Kruijswijk himself looked mighty surprised (Jensie was having an argument with his bike at the time #drink!). What I’m not sure of is was Roy out in front already at this point?  Or did he really in fact leave the chasers, pass Jens and Kruijswijk, and then go out on his own? Seems unlikely but that’s what Paul Sherwin and Phil Ligget would have us believe. Anyway there was a large secondary group of chasers between those two and the peloton.

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Stage 8: Belfort > Porrentruy

We are really in the mountains now. Given the length of the stages we’ve seen so far, you might look at this 157.5km stage and think “well, at least I’ll get some more sleep before the week starts”. Not so fast. There are seven climbs packed into today’s route. The first is a Cat 4 at 20km, and they get progressively steeper (a 3, three 2s and then a 1) as the day progresses. We’ll see some pretty unlikely “sprinters” collecting points today, with the intermediate sprint coming after the day’s fifth climb.

The finish today is in Switzerland, so we should expect a lot of auditory false alarms as fans ring their cowbells. Hopefully it will give our own Cowbell Evans a boost. If we do see any cows, they might be the local Braunvieh (Brown Swiss) or Simmental.

Please don’t draw any SherLiggetism conclusions from the posture of these cows.

Image: Wikimedia (Creative Commons)

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Stage eight: round-up

The excitement in Team Vaches was undeniable: Mike Tomalaris was prepared to make an early call – this stage would be rich in terms of cow spotting.  We were not disappointed, with a variety of cows spotted all the way along the route.

These cows have a perfect spot for Tour viewing

A group of Charolais

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