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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.
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.
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.”
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:
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!
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.
It was only appropriate, in hindsight, that the stage from Limooooooo would give Team Vaches the Tour’s best bovine experience. Of course, it didn’t start promisingly. The landscape the peloton rolled through was notable for the absence of pasture, dominated by the vines of the Languedoc. Paul helpfully informed us that the vines produce 130,000 hectalitres of wine per year. “Well that should keep Paul Sherwen in stead for the rest of the Tour de France,” was Phil Liggett’s dry rejoinder. It was at about this point that the helicopter gave us a long view of the terrain to come.
Sky shot – not a vache in sight.
That tweet was enough to persuade me to set the recorder and abandon for the evening.
See: Cows with Guns for what happened next…
After the excitement of the Cow tribute, the rest of the stage was a bit of a blur (yes, even watching it in replay – once I’d seen that fabulous montage I had to remind myself to keep watching the race!). The wind continued to attack the peloton as they battled towards Montpellier and the breakaway wasn’t able to keep the sprinters, eager for a last bit of glory before Paris, at bay. Cowvendish was able to take the stage victory and keeps the green jersey. There was no change for any of the “heads of state” or jersey holders, so they will all go to the rest day almost as satisfied by the stage as Team Vaches. Almost. I’m not sure they will be on quite the same high…
The montage is up at SBS Cycling Central. Vive les vaches!
My timing was impeccable. Even if I’d seen this tweet from earlier, I’d have had no idea of its significance:
Hope everyone has had a good night’s sleep on the rest day – I know my fingers need a break from typing quickly “Les Vaches” and sending it to twitter. If you do tweet, join us at @lesvachesdutour during the stages. We’re there for general race discussion as well as cow spotting, and love a bit of a #trolldj guessing game.
As Le Tour heads off south again towards the Pyrenees (still!), we spend a couple of days travelling through the Cévennes mountains, with today’s ride featuring 2 category three climbs and 2 category four climbs and a downhill finish.
We’re all hoping for less crashes and more les vaches as we continue to the Midi-Pyrenees area.
We may see some Salers cows around today as this is their native region. This hardy breed dates back a long time and its winter milk (from when the cows are fed hay) is used to make Cantal cheese one of the oldest cheeses in France. Apparently Pliny the Elder mentions cantal cheese in his writings. Cantal cheese is traditionally used in the cheesy mashed potato dish we told you about yesterday, Aligot. The summer milk, from when the cows have been grazing on meadows and fresh grass, is used to make Salers cheese.