Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Stage 5 Cagnes-sur-Mer / Marseille – The Cannonball Run

Today’s stage saw the riders settling in and getting on with business on a ‘lumpy’ 228 km route from Cagnes-sur-Mer to the famous port city of Marseille. Twisty roads, giant slides and pony rides. The road to Marseille is one big fun park.

In keeping with Marseille’s maritime connection, Gabriel Gate served up a delightful Grondin Rôti à la Purée de Fenouil or baked fish with puréed fennel. It was well received by the riders but there are serious mutterings going on in Le Tour caravan about the lack of butter in Gabriel’s dishes. There are also questions about commentators sticking to their standard issue SBS shirts. No butter, no troll shirt, when are they to open their accounts?

At least the Troll DJ has been keeping the caravan rocking. Every so often it likes to bust out the old favourite ‘Mah Na Mah Na’ and did so the applause of Tour fans everywhere. The song was made famous by the Muppets and we’re not quite sure if Troll DJ originally chose it in reference to the Waldorf and Statler of cycling Phil and Paul.
Cycling commentators Phil and Paul

As self appointed tour guides, the Ps enjoy describing points of interest along the parcours which typically include structures like chateaux and monasteries, many of which were originally built in the 11th century, knocked down and rebuilt in the 16th.

Paul's speciality is geology and earth resources. SBS may need to look at introducing a segment like ‘Taste Le Tour’ and maybe call it ‘Les Roches du Tour’. Sometimes he forgets he’s watching a bike race at all and becomes all absorbed in topics like the history of bauxite mining.

After hearing enough of the geology lessons you just know Phil would go beserk if he spotted a buzzard. And when he gets over excited, he tends to get his wucking mords fuddled referring to teams as ‘Cannonball’ and ‘Oooomega Farmer - Quick Stop’.

For the sake of Orica-GreenWEDGE I hope they’ve been carefully checking labels on bottles against the WADA banned list. Going by the ads, I wonder just how many of these Swisse pills the team is on? Whatever they’re doing they seem to be doing it right.

Mark Cavendish from Oooomega Farmer - Quick Stop won the stage but Orica-GreenWEDGE’s Gerro held on to the famed maillot jaune. Let’s see if he can keep it on the way to Montpellier.

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