Stage two: round-up

Round and round and round they went.  Round and round and nary a cow to be seen.

No real cows, that is.  Thanks to Les Agriculteurs des Essarts, we were treated to this splendid sight as almost every team passed by:

Fortunately our commentators were willing to overlook any negative environmental impact of this display, however Phil did seem perplexed by the idea of an animal so happily offering its meat.

Thanks to all our twitter cowrespondents who enthusiastically tweeted news of this vache!

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Stage 2: Les Essarts > Les Essarts

Today we  start and finish in Les Essarts, still in the department of Vendée.  The good news is that the team time trial has returned to Le Tour.  This means, of course, that we will be seeing the same scenery over and over again as team after team race the 23km loop. This will be fabulous for Team Vaches if the route passes a paddock of grazing cows as we are probably guaranteed to see them more than once, but it will be slim pickings if the only animals we see are on leashes in the crowd.  Keep looking out for those Parthenais from yesterday’s post.  If you see a strangely coloured one it might be a Nantais, which is described as a “parthenais of a different colour”.



Anyway, just in case this stage is cow-free, Essjaymoo has done some research and found a cheese!

Nantais/Curé cheese was originally made by the Curate (or Curé) of Vendée. It was brought into the region of Loire-Atlantic by a monk who was fleeing the Revolution.  The story goes that the area had no cheese when he arrived so I’m thinking he took the only cheese from Vendée with him when he went.  It’s a washed rind cheese, so it will be stinky like some leftover damp lycra.