Sunday, July 12, 2015

Stage 8 Rennes / Mûr-de-Bretagne - Merde Britannia

Stage 8 of the Tour and it was a Saturday night in Australia. I finally got to see a stage including the pre-match entertainment as opposed to rushing in during the week only to see Matthew Keenan get caught by the Ps.

Part of the pre-match entertainment for the night on SBS was Monty Python’s Best Bits. I can’t think of a more appropriate segue into the Tour.

Off to the kitchen and no visit to Brittany would be complete without crêpes so Gabs treated the riders to Brittany crêpes with strawberries. The recipe calls for double cream in a strawberries and cream reference to Wimbledon going on across the Channel. I saw what you did there Gabs!

There’s 2 teaspoons or about 10g of butter so the buerremetric counter edges up to 120g.

Phil and Paul gave us a rare up close and personal look at the commentary caravan. I see they’re still using the 486s held together with duct tape. I know budgets are tight at SBS but come on, lap tops and tablets are pretty cheap these days.

The commentary caravan looked like it had a bit of a tidy up and noticed the cassoulet bowls had been well hidden.

Team Katusha Rockets started the day one man down after Luca Paolini tested positive for cocaine. A very cheeky Troll DJ couldn’t help him/herself and had to play ‘White Lines’ by Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mell. Anymore positive tests for illicit substances Troll DJ will need to pull out the Del-Lords ‘When the DrugsKick In.'

Early on in the race breakaways Bartosz Huzarski, Sylvain Chavanel, Romain Sicard (this time on Oooropcar TV duty) and Pierre-Luc Périchon made their escape. The hunt was on and 17 riders went on the chase after the intermediate sprint. They were caught at 69 km to go when Huzarski escaped again with Lars Bak and Michal Golas.

Huzarski eventually surrendered and the last two breakies Bak and Golas were swallowed up by the hungry pack at 8 km to go.

The moment the breakies realise they've been caught

I always wonder about the motivation of a breakaway - dare to dream or TV time for the team sponsor? Probably a bit of both really.

The field art award of the day went to the hay bale bike construction with moving horsie wheels. Nice nod to the racing industry even though PMU isn’t sponsoring the green jersey anymore.

Just like with the Mur de Huy Paul was having trouble with the pronunciation of Mûr-de-Bretagne, the final climb to the finish. He settled on ‘Manure-de-Britannia.’ I’m also hoping Phil pulls himself up the next time he calls Brittany ‘Britannia’ with a “Oops!...I did it again.”

It wasn’t just pronunciation that caused problems. Phil spotted Tony Greipel in the pack. OK, fair enough Martin and Greipel are German. The Jensie got tangled up in a Jensieism of his own and called Dan Martin ‘Dean Martin.’

I must confess I do have difficulties with riders who share the same first name but also have a first name as a surname with an ‘s’ on the end. Yes, I’m looking at you Roger Matthews and Matthew Michaels.

No such problems with the Yates twins Simon and Adam. They look the same, ride on the same team, the first names are interchangeable really.

Down at the business end of the day R2D2 C3PO La Mondiale’s Alexis Vuillermoz made his intentions known on the climb of the Mûr-de-Bretagne, but Chris Froome wasn’t having any of that leaving Nibs in his wake. Dean Martin left his attack a little too late and the former mountain biker Vuillermoz rode away to take his first Tour victory and a win for France.

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