Well, here we are in Nice on the beautiful Côte d'Azur. The riders had a mostly uneventful journey from the island of Corsica in their flying dinghies. Predictably, the carrots kept ditching but were thankful for the quick drying properties of lycra.
Gabriel Gate was expecting a hungry peloton and tour caravan. He raided a market garden just on the outskirts of Nice gathering up enough veggies to put together a delightful Verrine deRatatouille Niçoise Chantilly Citron. Not suitable for vegans as there’s dairy in the recipe in the form of a dollop of crème fraîche. Crème fraîche has a proud place in French cuisine but alas it ain’t butter. At the end of stage four the Beurremetric counter sadly sits on zero.
Today’s stage was a team time trial that took the riders 25 km around the streets of Nice. As the name suggests teams get to ride separately and the one who finishes the quickest (with the time taken at the fifth rider across the line) wins the race and takes the stage. Time trials are all about speed. This calls for special bikes that are very good at going fast in relatively straight lines and not much else, skin suits (basically a headless morph suit for cyclists) and silly looking helmets.
The Oooomega Farmers set a cracking pace and completed the course at an average of 57.8 km/h. Try as they may other teams fell short. Sky’s ‘whale skin’ suits were no help. Not even Cadel’s red helmet could rally his band of merry men. The carrots managed to stay upright, a victory in itself.
Oooomega Farmers looked like they had it in the bag until 18th starters Orica-GreenWEDGE took to the road. They had the perfect ride. Not even a pack of hungry wolves running out on the parcours could stop them. They just managed to pip the Oooomega Farmers and became instant Aussie heroes.
Just three days before Orica-GreenWEDGE were a laughing stock and now they’ve won two stages in a row and Simon Gerrans gets to start stage five in yellow. The OGEWagon is in town and everyone’s climbing on board. And if getting a team bus stuck at the finish line on the first day of Le Tour proves to be a good omen ALL the teams will be wanting to do it now.
The OGEWagon gets a new look and the aircon working again
With the extra prize money Orica-GreenWEDGE have more than enough to fix the aircon unit and splash out on a yellow spray job for the team bus.