Tour of Britain: stage eight

The Devon countryside and coastline was the perfect backdrop to this stage of racing. The narrow hedge-lined roads opened up onto gloriously green pastures and there was some cattle spotting to be had. My choice for today’s stage photo is not, however, any of the cows gracing last night’s route. They were mere blobs on the landscape – identifiable as cattle, sure, but lacking the impact of this fan’s tribute to bacon:

By the time the (unfortunately not live) coverage of the stage started on Eurosport a ten-man break had been established. Ivan Basso was in amongst it once more, as were Sammy Sanchez, stage five winner Marc De Maar and former KOM leader Pablo Urtasun. Jonathan Tiernan-Locke made it clear that he wasn’t planning on relinquishing the gold jersey, particularly when so many local fans were out supporting their man. Late in the stage it appeared as though Sky were going to try to catch the breakies to give Cavendish some late-tour glory, but they’d left their move too late. Urtasun took the stage victory ahead of de Maar, with Basso in third and Sanchez crossing fourth. His celebrations in support of his team-mate were a highlight of the stage. JTL has 18″ over second placed Nathan Haas; Leigh Howard has dropped to fourth place overall. Velo UK has a full stage report here.

The final 147.8km stage from Reigate to Guildford takes us through some scenery which should be familiar to those who watched the Olympic road races. We thought we might see some cows back then, but were disappointed. Who knows? They may have returned. The southern part of the map Dan and I put together (with help from Alain) for that event is relevant for part of today’s race and has me hankering after the giant Yorkshire pudding at the Compasses Inn once more.

Once again, Scottie has some tips for locally-sourced sustenance to help us make it through to the finish line.

Stage 7 had an almost surreal feel as huge crowds cheered on Ivan Basso and Sammy Sanchez as they raced along the narrow lanes of Devon, the English Riviera resplendent in the late summer sunshine. Hopefully the fine weather will continue as we reach the final stage and Surrey. Not known for its dairy produce, the county’s only cheese is Norbury Blue made near today’s start in Dorking using unpasteurised milk from a herd of Friesian cows which graze at the foot of Box Hill whose roads still bear the cycling-related graffiti from the Olympic road races. This part of southern England shares the chalk seam conditions with the Champagne region in France and Dorking is also home to Denbies Vineyard – their Chalk Ridge Rose 2010 won a coveted gold medal at that years IWC. With a bouquet of strawberries, freshly cut pears and cracked pepper and thyme, I would probably enjoy them separately, but enjoy them I would!

As the race briefly enters West Sussex, it’s here that we’ll go for our final Tour De Snack of this year’s race. As I cycle the 30 miles from my home in Hove, along the Down’s Link cycle route to the race’s most southern trajectory at Cranleigh, I’ll pass very close to High Weald Dairy Farm. Their Saint Giles, an English equivalent to the continental style Saint Paulin or Port Salut , is a semi soft creamy cheese with a rich, buttery texture, a creamy mild flavour and a stunning edible orange rind. Not far away is Nyetimber vineyard, the first in England to grow only the traditional Champagne varieties : Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier and their Classic Cuvee really is something special. Intense, flinty, biscuity with a classic champagne structure it’s an ideal match for the Saint Giles and a neat analogy for the state of road cycling in Britain. We’ll never be able to beat the French at their own game; but with beautiful countryside, passionate crowds, a varied and diverse terroir and a long and proud food and drink tradition of our own, we Brits can put on a world class show!

Thanks so much, Scottie, for the comprehensive cheese and beer (and wine) matching service for this year’s Tour of Britain!

Tour of Britain: stage seven

There were cows last night at the 59.2km mark of stage six – thanks to @nellynog for tweeting the sighting. I was rather caught up trying to decide whether they were oversized sheep, however I am assured that they were cows (which has prompted me to update my glasses prescription). As a result of my dithering over what species they were  I have no pic, so imagine a group of large, blurry quadrupeds in the lush Welsh countryside.

Bradley Wiggins did not start yesterday; the Sky twitter account announced that he had stomach problems and promised further details would follow. Fortunately they didn’t elaborate – gastro is an area where the line between information and too much information is easily crossed. As for the stage itself, the two climbs of Caerphilly Mountain gave us two opportunities to reminisce about Wimpys and gave the crowds a chance to mimic the crowds at the European tours by closing in on the road (one guy took the mimicry a step too far, showing up in a mankini). Endura’s Jonathan Tiernan-Locke attacked on the first ascent and was joined by NetApp’s Leopold Koenig on the descent. The two stayed together for the remainder of the race, with JTL doing most of the work as he had the gold jersey in his sights. Koenig took the stage win, but Endura’s perfectly planned race paid off and their guy will start in the leader’s jersey today, 13″ ahead of Orica-GreenEDGE’s Leigh Howard.

Stage seven takes us from Barnstaple to Dartmouth, a rolling 172.9km which rises with two Cat 1 climbs at 90.2 and 104.9kms (Merrivale and Coffin Stone), before heading down to Dartmouth. Set your alerts to ping you at 50.4km – Okehampton – to get stuck into Scottie’s suggested cheese for tonight. Heading over from Caerphilly to the start of the stage would have taken you through Cheddar country, so I’m popping some of that on my cheeseboard for tonight.

To Devon, and my Tour de Snack to match this this beautiful and wild county comes from Stockbeare Farm in North Devon. Made to a 17th century recipe using milk from their own Friesian herd, Devon Oke is a hard, full fat, rinded, brine washed cheese delivering a buttery taste and a nutty finish. Across the county line in Cornwall lies my favourite West-Country brewery, St Austell’s, but its wonderful Admiral Ale (named after national hero Lord Nelson) qualifies as today’s Beer de Jour due to the Devon malt which is specially produced by Tucker’s Maltings in Newton Abbot. This bottle-conditioned ale is blended with both Styrian Golding and Cascade hops, the result is a deep bronze beer with a delicious rich biscuit flavour, perfect for toasting local hero (and possible 2012 Gold Jersey winner) JT-L as he crosses the finishing line.

Flag watchers should look out, not only for the classic black and white Cornish cross of St Pirian, which can be traced back to the 8th century, but for the newer green and white Devon flag of St Petroc, designed by student Ryan Sealy in ten minutes on his computer in 2003, based on the colours of Plymouth Argyle football club but now adopted with zeal throughout the county.

Along with the Friesians producing milk for today’s featured cheese, we should keep an eye out for two local beef breeds, the Devon and the South Devon. The Devon is described as a

very old and handsome breed (that) should be a great deal more valued than it is, though it is much better appreciated overseas than at home, especially in hotter climates.

Cattle: A Handbook to the Breeds of the World

Image: Westons Farms

This breed developed in Exmoor, not far from our start town, and was the dominant breed in Devon and Somerset for a few hundred years. It’s a rich red colour – “a dark but bright blood colour” if that makes sense (from what I’ve read so far in Tyler Hamilton‘s book, I think he’d be pretty happy with his hematocrit if his blood were Devon coloured) – which prompted the nickname Ruby of the West. As mentioned above, the breed has become quite well-established in the USA, Australia, Brazil and South Africa, and are also being used to improve the native cattle in Kenya.

The South Devon is also a big, red cow – imaginatively nicknamed Big Red – and it is the biggest of the British breeds. It is also known as the Orange Elephant and is thought to be descended from the red cattle of Normandy. It is now used mainly as a beef breed, although it was initially a triple-purpose animal (draught, dairy and beef). Like the Ruby, the breed is well established outside Britain and is particularly popular in South Africa. They were first exported to the US in 1969 and they are appreciated by the North American South Devon Association as The Tender, Maternal Beef Breed.

Image: Brettles Farm

Tour of Britain: stage six

Cattle appeared so early into Eurosport’s coverage of stage six that the helicopter camera was still focussing.

The black cow is definitely taking an interest in the passing peloton.

The early coverage of the racing was notable for Bradley Wiggins’ slow-motion riding as he waited for dropped team-mate Mark Cavendish to catch up. The commentary referred to his “track-standing” and at one stage he turned around and rode back towards the team cars. As he was helping Cav over the moors, a breakaway  – which included Ivan Basso, Sammy Sanchez and Leigh Howard – continued to extend its lead over the peloton. A number of riders failed to take a corner at around the 7km mark, and shortly after that Marc de Maar (United Healthcare) rode off the front, developed a lead and held on to win the stage 15″ ahead of the other breakies. This gives Leigh Howard of Orica-GreenEDGE the gold leader’s jersey with 7″ over Boy Van Poppel and 17″ over Sep Vanmarcke. The Cavendish group lost over 11 minutes to the leaders and Ivan Basso – who spent some time on his own ahead of the rest of the break – was rewarded with the combativity prize for the day.

The 189.6km of stage six take us from Welshpool to Caerphilly, with four Cat 1 climbs. The first of these is at 91.5km and the last summit is just 5km before the stage end, so those riders who struggled with stage five won’t be looking forward with much enthusiasm to getting back in the saddle today. Hopefully the sight of some Welsh Black cattle (Gwartheg Duon Cymreig) will cheer them up.

Image: Darren Wyn Rees

Whilst the Welsh Blacks were historically a dual-purpose breed, these days they are mainly used for beef production. This means we might spot some more Holstein-Freisians as there is cheese in these parts. Over to Scottie:

We roll into Wales, a nation with a long-standing tradition for producing delicious cheeses. The earliest varieties resembled the now famous Caerphilly, but were made from goat and sheep’s milks and immersed in brine. Welsh cheeses were once so prized that they were used as part of divorce settlements. Under the laws of Welsh ruler Hywel Dda cheeses that were washed in brine went to the wife, and cheeses that were hung up went to the husband. Later, in the 17th and 18th centuries, cow’s milk became the cheese-making ingredient of choice. Originally produced in today’s finish, Caerphilly has a recipe similar to those for other crumbly cheeses – Cheshire, young Lancashire and Wensleydale. Being close to the great mining towns of South Wales the young cheese was a firm favourite amongst mining communities as its shallow height and tough coat made it easy to eat with dirty hands down the mines whilst its salty, moist curd helped to replace the minerals lost during the hours spent labouring under ground. Its more mature variant – often kept for up to a year – formed its own tough coat and gradually became harder in texture and stronger in taste with age. By the early 20th century, the production of Caerphilly moved to England because the demand for the cheese outgrew its Welsh production. Unfortunately, by the time of WWII, cheese making in Wales had come to a near standstill – many of the small Welsh cheese producers were run out of business by the larger English factories and today Gorwydd is the only local producer of Caerphilly. Highly recommended, especially with a pint of the nation’s best-selling beer, Brains Bitter (3.7%abv), a rich amber coloured ale brewed with locally grown Goldings and Fuggles hops producing a crisp aroma and a subtle flavour of fine pale malt.

Alternatively, Celtic Promise is modern vegetarian cheese. Creamy, rich and yellow, with a pungent aroma and slightly piquant taste, this surface-ripened cow’s milk cheese has a semi-soft texture and a moist orange-red rind with a dusting of mould. Washed in cider brine during ripening, what better way to wash down this award-winning cheese than with Black Dragon, an oak conditioned, medium dry cider,(6.5 %abv.), made in Pontypridd, just a few km from tomorrow’s finsh by Gwynt Y Ddraig (Welsh for Dragon’s Breath!). “Lechyd da” (Cheers!)

Unfortunately we have missed the annual Big Cheese festival in Caerphilly, but it celebrated its 15th year this year so I’m sure it will be back in 2013.

Tour of Britain: stage five

As predicted, the scenery for stage four was lovely, improved by the strategic placement of some cattle.

This group, huddled behind the cars, looked as though they were taking quite an interest in the race until the helicopter spooked them.

I’m tempted to assume that cows lurk behind every piece of roadside shrubbery.

The Tour of Britain continues to provide participants with a Tour of Seasons, too, which I’m sure they are well and truly over by now. As with stage three, the rain cleared for the end of the race and the Sky train pulled the breakaway back with just under 10km to go. With no red flag to mark the final kilometre – the winds earlier in the day prevented it from going up – Steele von Hoff seemed to start his bid for the finish early but Cavendish passed him for his second consecutive stage win and the overall lead. After this stage, none of the other jerseys will change hands.

Stage five starts and finishes in Stoke-on-Trent, taking in three climbs along the 147km loop with the final climb – Gun Hill, at 116.8km – a Cat 1. If a breakaway gets a decent lead, perhaps we will see a few escapees survive to the end, although the course has been designed to accommodate a group finish.

We’ll have to wait for the final two stages for the chance to spot some cattle local to the route, however we might spot some dairy herds today. Scottie explains:

Oatmeal fans, you’re in for a treat. The Stoke-on-Trent stage, in Staffordshire, is a tight little route but one brimming with local delicacies. Staffordshire has its own cheese, with PDO status and Bertelin Staffordshire is an outstanding example. A cheese with a long monastic heritage, it has a smooth, slightly crumbly texture and a creamy, fresh, lactic flavour. Another local delicacy, unique and still a popular lunchtime or post-pub snack in the area is the Staffordshire Oatcake, a pancake-like flatbread of griddled oatmeal batter, eaten soft and warm – not to be confused with it’s Scottish namesake. Enjoy both with Lymestone Brewery’s Stone Brood honey beer, (4.4% abv) a rich, dark beer from honey from the brewery’s own hives and the finest chocolate malt producing velvety chocolate notes giving way to a balanced bittersweet finish!

 

 

Tour of Britain: stage four

Stage three delivered two things we’ve been expecting since Sunday: a Mark Cavendish stage victory and some cattle. Before we rush headlong into the stage results, let’s check out the cows.

Not Belties, but they look on the sturdy side of black cattle, so let’s say there’s some Galloway in there…

The cattle-spotter’s version of the LBJ.

Yesterday’s stage brought us sunshine, rain, a long-lasting breakaway and a return to bright conditions for the final sprint. The breakies were deemed unlucky to have relatively straight, wide roads leading into the finish; had the run in to Dumfries been more technical they might have had a chance to keep the chasing peloton at bay. Wiggins got the Sky train organised in the final 5km to deliver Cavendish a comfortable win by sprint standards – I’m sure the fans who showed up at the Strickland Arms would have been happy to buy drinks for anybody in the black-and-teal.

Cav might have taken the stage victory, but Orica-GreenEDGE’s Leigh Howard will line up in the gold leader’s jersey for stage four. Boy Van Poppel still leads the points classification, but Urtasun gives up the climber’s jersey to Rapha’s Kristian House. Peter Williams retains the lead in the sprinter’s competition.

Stage 4 is back in England, with a 156km course from Carlisle to Blackpool. The mountain points on offer tonight will come from three climbs: the Cat 2 Shap Fell at 51.8km, the Cat 2 Old Hutton at 79.9km and the Cat 3 Quernmore at 114km. Having a climb so late in the stage means we might get a chance to see it, and the scenery all through this stage should be spectacular.

There are some cows milk cheeses produced in this area, which suggests we might see some cows although there are no breeds specific to the area. Scottie’s local tips for cheese and beer are as follows:

Booth’s will almost certainly stock Keverigg, a beautifully textured creamy cheese with a slight crumble and a tangy aftertaste with a natural rind, made from organic milk from Winter Tarn Farm’s pedigree Holstein herd near Penrith. Winter Tarn also produce their own Rose Veal and as you probably know, all British veal is cruelty free. The abundance of clear clean fellwater in the area gives rise to an abundance of small local breweries and that makes choosing a beer tricky so I’ve picked three. Loweswater Brewery’s Loweswater Gold (4.3%) is an award winning tropically flavoured golden ale brewed using three malts and German hops; or for an antipodean theme, Hawkshead Brewery’s NZPA – New Zealand Pale Ale (6%abv) – described as ‘a complex, strong, modern pale ale made using four New Zealand hops; Green Bullet, Motueka, Nelson Sauvin & Riwaka. Packed with punchy, green, citrus hop flavours with a dry, bitter finish.’ For a more generally available beer I’ve moved south of the Lake District to Lancashire and Blackburn’s Thwaites Brewery. Wainwright’s Ale (4.1%abv) is named after local hero A.Wainwright, the father of Lakeland Fell Walking and author of the beautifully illustrated ‘Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells’.

Let’s not overlook Lancashire cheese, which comes in three varieties: cream, tasty and crumbly. This cheese developed when farmers used excess milk to produce cheese. Given that they lacked enough surplus milk to create a cheese from one day’s yield, the cheese was made from the curd from two to three days’ worth of milking.  The method was standardised in 1890 and is adhered to for Lancashire cheese production today. British Cheese claims it makes the best cheese toast in the world so I reckon it might go well with some of Scottie’s recommended beer in a rarebit.

Keep your eyes peeled, cross-check with the Kranky Kids wall, and see if you can identify any British bovines.

Tour of Britain: stage three

The finish in Knowsley Safari Park promised wildlife, albeit of a non-local variety, but the closest we came to exotic species was in the headline of the official report: Leigh Howard roars to victory at Knowsley Safari Park. Anyway, it was a good result for the Aussie from Orica-GreenEDGE, who edged out Mark Cavendish in a sprint finish. The appealingly-named Boy Van Poppel United Healthcare Pro Cycling took third place in the stage and the lead in both the general and points classifications. The climbing was done by the time the Eurosport coverage began (although the rain was yet to come) but Euskaltel Euskadi’s Pablo Urtasun took the maximum KOM points at each of the three climbs and wears that jersey in today’s stage. Peter Williams of Node4-Giordana Racing leads the sprint classification and Orica’s good day at the races continued with Jack Bobridge getting the day’s combativity award.

Today’s 152.6km from Jedburgh to Dumfries-Whitesands is another stage where the three climbs are packed into the first 60 or so kilometres. Once again, Scottie has given a really in-depth commentary on the stage, complete with a guide to clan history and some local brews and curds to look out for. I’d be tempted not only by the Criffel, but also by the Crannog and the Kebbuck cheeses. With those names, how could they go wrong?

This is a Scottish stage, but I think it’s worth mentioning the ‘feral’ Chillingham cattle of Northumberland, since we won’t be heading any closer to these parts.

Image: Chillingham Wild Cattle Association

From a safe distance, perhaps 200 yards, they resemble sheep. But focus your binoculars on those shaggy white coats and you’re swept back 800 years to a time when the distant ancestors of these animals grazed these same hills. As we approach, the more curious bulls – no sheep here – trot towards us, bumping up against each other, pawing the ground. They are breathtakingly beautiful, with mottled white, scraggy faces and red, fox-like ears. They are Chillingham cattle, the oldest-known breed of cattle in the world.

Countryfile

There are less than 100 of them and since their enclosure over three centuries ago there has been no breeding outside the herd, which has very little human contact. They nearly died out after severe winter conditions in 1946-47, when only eight cows and five bulls remained, however they are now owned and protected by the Chillingham Wild Cattle Association. Have a look at this BBC slideshow for some images of the breed and a brief history.

As Scottie mentioned, we are headed towards Galloway for the finish of the race, so hopefully we will spot at least one of the versions of this magnificent animal. The belted galloway is the most striking of them (there are red and white belties and dun and white belties as well as the more recognisable black and whites), but look out for the shaggy all-black ones as well as the white galloways.

 Images: Kranky Kids

Peloton Watch has put together an easy-to-navigate, PDF-free overview of the stages (as well as up-to-date standings at a glance) – click here for today’s route profile.

Tour of Britain: stage two

Stage one of the Tour of Britain gave us no cattle, but did provide some narrow roads flanked by hedgerows that seemed happy to accommodate riders who got into strife (prompting a discussion about what exactly Led Zeppelin meant by a bustle in the hedgerows – thanks to CJ who sorted that out). After the spectacular climbing in the Vuelta  (which was wrapping up as this got underway) and Simon Clarke’s King of the Mountains victory we found it difficult to get excited about the points on offer for this stage’s ascents. There was discussion as to the most appropriate acronym for this jersey, with KOTGR [King of the Gentle Rise], KOTLH [King of the Little Hill], KOTB [King of the Bump], KOTSB [King of the Speed Bump] and KOTSP [King of the Sleeping Policeman] all under consideration.

As it happens, Rapha Condor’s Kristian House will be wearing the climber’s jersey when stage two starts today. Rony Martias of Saur Sojasun leads the sprint classification. A late crash on the way into the finish took out a number of riders, including the fancied Mark Cavendish, gaving us a stage winner who was such a surprise that the commentators took some time to identify him as Sky’s Luke Rowe. I was devastated to learn that I missed the presentation of the Combativity Award to Niels Wytinck of An Post Sean Kelly. Along with the honour of the award, reader Scottie tells us that he also received

a 5kg truckle of Mrs Temple’s Well’s Alpine Cheese (a semi-hard cheese made from Brown Swiss cow’s milk at Copy’s Green Farm, Wighton near Wells-by-the -Sea apparently)

Now that’s worth getting into a break for!

On to stage two! This 180km stage contains three Cat One climbs, all in the first third of the stage. Scottie tells us to watch out for sheep, but it’s the finish at Knowsley Safari Park that has me excited. According to the official site:

with just over a kilometre of racing to go the race heads past the entrance to the Safari Drive for a very fast final kilometre, including a swooping final corner past the elephant enclosure. As riders hit the final few hundred metres of the stage, they’ll sprint alongside the giraffe enclosure, providing a unique and spectacular background to The Tour of Britain.

Elephants! Giraffes! Surely there will be some buffalo to fill the bovine quota for the day.

Rather than reinvent the wheel, I’m going to leave today’s Tour de Snack to Scottie, as he’s clued us in to the two cheeses for this stage and has also suggested some interesting beer matches.

I must admit, I don’t know much about cows, but I am a big fan of wine, cheese and beer. Tomorrow obviously it’s going to be difficult to look beyond Stilton but for a pairing that spans the entire Stage 2 region may I recommend the mild crumbly HS Bourne’s Cheshire Cheese (from Malpas) with the hoppy pale Thornbridge Brewery Jaipur IPA, (5.9abv) from Bakewell (home of the famous tart) or for the traditionalists, Cropwell Bishop Blue Stilton with White Shield’s Bass no 1 Barleywine (10.5%abv!!) from Burton. Old Skool!

I believe Bass Barleywine is named after (but not made by) the famous Bass brewery (est 1777) in Burton on Trent (Peak District water was considered to be the best in England and the top-selling Buxton and Malvern mineral waters are sourced nearby). IPA, as you probably know, is India Pale Ale which was specially brewed as a lower alcohol easy drinking light beer which was shipped out to the four corners of the Empire but especially India, for hot-weather quaffing by the British Army in the days of the Raj (although at nearly 6%, Jaipur is not really lower alcohol!). Greene King IPA from Suffolk would be a good pairing for the Shipford.

Interestingly, because of the PDO, Stilton cannot be made in the village of Stilton in Huntingdonshire where a version of the famous cheese was originally made!

I remain hopeful that we might spy some of the local cattle breed, the Blue Albion.

Image: Kranky Kids

There’s are some more images of this breed on Flickr, so you can familiarise yourself for tonight’s round of Spotto.

 

Tour of Britain: stage one

As the 2012 Vuelta finishes, the Tour of Britain begins.  Fourteen teams of six (and two teams of five) will compete over eight stages. Some are favouring Sky to take the win, although it seems they are viewing it as more of a “victory lap” for Wiggins and, and World Championship prep for Cav, than an attempt to gain a victory. Given recent precedent (Vino’s Olympics win, the failed Contador-Froome face-off) perhaps this party will be spoiled for the local heroes, too.

Whilst the Vuelta has given us exciting racing, it wasn’t so great for cows. This excellent cheese map of Britain is a fairly good indicator that we should have some cattle sightings over the course of the race.

Stage one, a relatively flat 203 kms from Ipswich to Norwich, will take us through Suffolk and into Norfolk. Both counties had local breeds – the Suffolk Dun and the Norfolk Red, respectively – however neither breed has survived into the 21st century. They continue in the form of the dual-purpose Red Poll, which was developed in the early 19th century from the two breeds. The Red Poll was hugely popular in Britain in the mid 20th century, but numbers dwindled until it was officially classified a “rare” breed. In the 1980s the breed society was reinvigorated and numbers are gradually rising again in the UK. It has been more of a continued success story elsewhere in the world.

Red Poll cow, Temple Newsam - geograph.org.uk - 179145

Image: RichTea [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The cheese map tells us that there are a couple of cheeses made in Suffolk – Suffolk Gold and Shipcord – although there is no PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) or PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) style originating here. Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses, where the Suffolk Gold is made, uses milk from their Guernsey herd, but we won’t hold that against them as the Guernsey is a beautiful beast. The Suffolk Gold is described as

A creamy semi-hard farmhouse cheese, delicious flavour with a rich golden colour. Perfect with oatcakes or an apple.

The Shipcord, a cheddar-style cheese made from unpasteurised raw milk, comes from Rodwell Farm Dairy in Ipswich. I’m sure you’ll be able to find something along these lines to make up your Tour de Snack plate for this stage.

The Tour of Britain is being shown on Eurosport – today’s stage starts at around 10.30pm AEST – and will also be streamed on Cycling Central once the Vuelta is over.