2017 Tour de France Hump Day Report

Port de Pailheres, Pyrenees TDF 2017

Le Tour de France Hump Day Report

At risk of offending the TdF Press Room, if you're not German or British, there's not been a lot to interest the fans, in this year's TdF. Even then, you have to be a fan of Froome and Kittel, because it's only those two that are winning anything.

Peter Sagan, dual world champion, and the most popular and entertaining rider of a generation, was unceremoniously booted out of the race in the first week. Unfortunately Sagan's offence, which provoked his involuntary exit, unwittingly removed Black Cavendish from the race, too. Well there's two of my favorites gone, while the race had barely touched down on French soil.

Skippy Report

Not a lot for fans of Aussie cyclists so far. While I hoped for success in the Prologue, none has come our way. Luke Durbridge has gone home, as has Mark Renshaw, along with Richie Porte who spent a few days in hospital en route. Simon Gerrans, surprisingly, was not selected for this year's tour. Michael Matthews has looked the goods and gone close, but no win yet. Still, it's only half time!

Here's a link, to a piece all about the sponsors, and what they actually do, by inrng.com

Today's stage into the Pyrenees

Today the race moves into the Pyrenees, so let's hope for some fireworks here. It's a hilltop finish on Peyragudes, and the previous winner here, in 2012 was (convicted drug cheat) Valverde. Out of the race in the prologue, he won't get another chance today.

If we don't get any fireworks here, never mind, it's Bastille day tomorrow! Look for the french riders to all have a go on the stage into Foix.

Remember we have E-bikes available on all tours now. Bring that non-cycling friend along, they'll love it.

Photo above: 'You'll never ride alone' Cam Macindoe crests Port de Pailheres, in the Pyrenees. The big-arsed horses are always here. Photo by Andy James, on tour.

Photo below: 'Madeleine on Madeleine' We climbed Col du Madeleine on the final day of our TdF Climbs tour (Feast of Ascension). 'Madeleine' was picnic'ing solo, while our riders suffered past.

Madeleine on Madeleine - TDF Climbs 2017

Cuisine report, Boucherie Vs Charcuterie

We're between tours presently, so the rule is, an early morning ride including coffee and croissants/pain au chocolate, followed by a day of prepping bikes.

This morning's ride took us into the town of Revel (14th C), just north of the Pyrenees - occasionally used as a TdF stage finish town. Last time we were here, in 2010, Vinokourov won. (Unsurprisingly, I hate it when convicted drug cheats win).

Nevertheless, it's a lovely town, so after breakfast we visited a couple of the small shopkeepers to fill our backpacks in preparation for lunch and dinner. Fruit, veg, Cheeses (Roquefort & a local Chevre), vino and beer were all acquired at the greengrocer's. Next on the list was the Butcher.

In a street off the main square there was a small shop, barely two metres wide. There was no window display, but the 'Deli' case, while small, held a terrific range. Still, there were no snags. In my best french I asked if there were any available. No-no-no Monsieur, this is a butcher's shop. You need the Charcuterie, just down the street on the left, and he hurried out from behind his counter, in his butchers apron, complete with bow tie, to point us in the correct direction. Your colleague, I enquired? Yes-yes-yes!

We found the Charcuterie in an almost mirror image presentation. Shopkeeper also garbed in bow tie and butchers apron, (although this one may have been a charcuterie apron, my eye not yet accustomed to the minutiae).

There was not a huge amount of difference, although here there were definitely Saussice (fresh) and Saucisson (cured) available. The pork sausages we chose were made fresh, on site, that morning, by the owner's hand, I was assured.

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