Dairy Diary

21 Jul

The cows wake us each morning on the Tourmalet.

t appears that the DS’s carefully chosen camping spot 1.5km from the top on the La Mongie which offered a perfect view of the riders as they came past yesterday afternoon is also a direct path for a herd of brown beasts on their morning commute to a clump of grass on the other side of the valley that requires daily grooming.

On Monday morning they tip toed daintily across the tent guy ropes on the way to breakfast, only the infernal clanging of the bell around the neck of the boss cow waking us from our slumber, whereupon the DS peeped out for a recce, her gaze meeting another at a proximity that would have allowed her to lick a pair of big wet pink nostrils had she so chosen. Instead she gave a barely muffled shriek and a startled shooing motion which, thankfully, had the desired effect, thus saving me from rising from my slumbers to make a direct intervention.

The cows took a slightly altered route the following morning displaying a gift for pragmatic compromise that we could all learn from.

Speaking of pragmatic compromise, (watch for the neat segue…) Andy Schleck’s half nelson induced rapprochement with his old mate Bertie live on French TV no doubt made for great viewing but convinced no one at Camp Poursuivants: The scrawny little goofball may look like he’s afraid of getting sand kicked in his face by that rough Spanish boy but I’m certain he’ll reassert himself on the Tourmalet tomorrow.

Whether he can get enough time ahead of Saturday’s test is another thing but Les Poursuivants and a bunch of mad Luxembourgois hanging around La Mongie will not be happy unless he throws a few major shapes tomorrow afternoon.

Yesterday’s stage fizzled out a bit after a frenzied beginning but that will have been a relief for Nicolas Roche. We gave him a shout as he slogged past in the jersey group over the Tourmalet but one senses that Paris is the main focus now…

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