With the gruelling Pyrenees out of the way the peloton had a 208.5km ride on flat roads in beautiful south west France between Maubourguet Pays du Val d'Adour and Bergerac.
Now the Tour is nearing the end Gabriel Gate wanted to do something special for the riders and make good use of the local dry white wine Bergerac is famous for so he prepared Quail with Grapes and Chestnuts. 100ml of the wine went into the dish, the remainder into chef. The recipe calls for two big tablespoons of butter pushing the Beurremetric Counter through the 1kg barrier to weigh in at a thumping 1.12kg.
The peloton passed safely through the town of Condom but this race was by no means a dead rubber. Tour fans had waited patiently for nearly three weeks and Troll DJ finally delivered with the Les Vaches du Tour anthem ‘Cows with Guns’. The Twitterverse exploded in jubilation. AT LAST, COWS WITH GUNS!!! The Jaws theme montage of Asstana’s Vincenzo Nibali (his nickname is ‘The Shark’, get it?) was pretty good too. All we need to cap off the Tour is ‘Hocus Pocus’ by Focus.
Beards have been quite the fashion this season and we’ve seen everything from the flavour saver to full on bushranger. Paul added that to grow a full set beard in the navy you’ve got to get permission from the captain. Well, that’s handy to know if you’re planning on joining the navy any time soon but utterly useless in the context of a bike race.
Apart from the Cows with Guns vaches montage our bovine friends were pretty thin on the ground when all of a sudden a real elephant appeared at the side of the road. I wonder if technically it passes as a vache? They are referred to as bulls and cows you know. Phil thought it might be a good time for a trunk call. Paul was worried about the elephant being poached. Not to worry Paul, we couldn’t find a saucepan big enough and besides I prefer my elephants fried. Phil and Paul thought the elephant was there because the circus was in town. Clearly it was not from the one in the commentary box.
Paul recalled how Andrew Talansky (Sharmin-Garp) nearly withdrew on the road earlier in the Tour. Talansky had stopped in front of the SAG wagon and the Directeur Sportif had to nurse him through the race to complete the stage. I don’t know about you but whenever I hear Paul talk of a directeur sportif nursing a rider through a stage I get a disturbing image of man boobs...
A scandal bigger then doping erupted during the stage. The Les Vaches du Tour team was excited by initial reports that came crackling in over race radio of vaches by the Chateau de Monbazillac. Eagle-eyed bovine spotters armed with high powered binoculars had their suspicions. FAKE VACHES! I just knew it! Those vaches by the chateau looked too perky and pert to be real.
Back to the race and it just wasn’t Marcel Kitteh’s (Giant-Shimano) day. First he had a puncture which Phil declared happened at best time. Phil, there’s NEVER a BEST time for a puncture, especially when you’ve left your repair kit at home and it’s a really long walk. Then Kitteh came down in a crash with Peter Sagan (Cannonball) and we believe with a gorilla that rides for Lotto-Belisol and goes by the name of Andre Griepel.
In the end Ramunas Navardauskas (Sharmin-Garp) prevailed. Earlier Troll DJ played the Lego Movie earworm ‘Everything is Awesome’ and everything turned out awesome for Navardauskas who notched up Lithuania’s first ever Tour stage victory.