Stage 6 and the peloton headed further south toward the Pyrenees on a flat 190.5 km route from Arpajon-sur-Cère to Montauban.
Gabs checked the Météo-France weather forecast and it was going to be a warm one so he decided to make a delicious cold treat for the peloton - coffee parfait with prunes in Armagnac.
Well, the coffee parfait does look delicious and is made from cream and I’m sure a health conscious peloton will appreciate the prunes soaked in Armagnac to help keep them regular, but this is the third day without butter.
Gabs, do not think for one minute the riders haven’t noticed. There are rumours some are considering starting up an online petition demanding the return ‘of the butter’. OUCH!!
As the riders set off and Yukiya Arashiro and Jan Barta took off from the front.
In the caravan of commentary, Robbie was shooting the breeze about how the kids always ask dads riding in the Tour to bring home a couple of stuffed lions – not a real one from a despicable canned-hunting safari but the plush toy awarded to the day’s yellow jersey winner. You simply can't buy these in a souvenir shop because, according to Robbie, “the only way to get one of these lions? Suffering”.
Mattie and Robbie thought this stage would be one for the ‘pure sprinters’. This implies there are impure sprinters lurking in the peloton, so WADA had better get on to that.
Robbie rated Bling's chances in the sprint. He felt Michael Matthews lacked the support of the OBE team to throw everything at picking up a stage win. That said, Robbie thought Bling would ride a top five finish but against the calibre of sprinters today they were, "going to come by at such a rate they'll suck his helmet off". Robbie!!! This is a family show!!!
While Arashiro and Barta were left to fry in the heat, the peloton was content to keep it at coffee ride tempo - that or the ‘arsephalt’ that was starting to melt in the heat was sucking the tyres down into the road surface slowing it down.
Unexpectedly Troll DJ went out early with Kraftwerk’s ‘Tour de France’. This, as the couch peloton observed, is usually reserved for the final day of the Tour. Troll DJ likes to keep the mix fresh by mixing up the mix a little. There are a few more Kraftwerk tunes to draw on but I suspect the Troll DJ is keeping the powder dry on ‘The Robots’.
The only trophy lion we want to see.
Mattie opened the day’s drinking game account with the three-shooter, “Chris Froome was born in Africa but races under a British licence”.
Mattie and Robbie speculated on who of the sprinters would win the stage. The big names would be there like Cav and Greipel but they thought Bryan Coquard would be in with a chance - but against the class of Marcel Kittel, Coquard would find the competition a little stiffer.
Robbie was rummaging in the ‘Ask Robbie’ mail bag and the question came up about oddly shaped chain rings on some of the bikes. They are supposed to 'kill the dead spots’ on each pedal stroke maximising efficiency. However, Robbie said he tried them once and is not a fan of ‘oblong’ chain rings, which sound like they’re more suited to pedalling in squares.
And the question came up as to why Thomas Voeckler was awarded the most combative prize in stage 3 and not Armindo Fonseca. Robbie and Mattie thought it was because he had a few mates on the judging panel, but the real reason Voeckler ended up with the most combative was because there was a mix up with the best gurning prize.
Not a lot happened on the road, however, the spectacular scenery of the route more than made up for the relative boredom of the stage. One couple passed the time with a game of chess on a spectacular outcrop. How they got up there with road bikes is anyone’s guess – scale the cliff face? Perhaps they got a heli drop from a Tour chopper?
Robbie and Mattie were caught by the Ps at 50.5 km to go. Phil spotted a perfectly executed crop circle in the shape of a bicycle. He wondered how the farmers do their crop art at ground level. Well Phil, it’s not the farmers you know...
While we’re on the topic of extraterrestrials, are we sure they were just bottles and not an alien trying to burst out of the back of a Tinkie domestique under his jersey?
With the breakies caught at 22 km to go, the riders started to pick up the pace as they headed toward Montauban. There was some tricky road furniture to navigate on the run in and at one point riders went around an onion shaped roundabout. Better not let Tony Abbott see that.
Paul was looking out for the green jersey on the shoulders of Peter Sagan. He said, “it’s easy to spot the green jersey”. Well yes, we presume, obviously, because it’s green and the other jerseys around it are not.
On the run to the finish the lead-out men got the big men ready for the sprint to the line. All eyes were on Kitteh but it was, “Cavendish, the Manx Missile, [who] scores another direct hit”. Well played Phil, well played.
This makes it three stage wins for Cav at this Tour and 29 Tour stage wins in total. He's had the lion's share of stage wins so far this Tour but it will be GVA bringing home more than one stuffed lion for the kid.