TOUR DE SNACKS STAGE 5: BRIDGE ROAD FRENCH DINNER
So the final few stages of the Tour de France, at least from a logistical point of view were a bit of a shitstorm. From a cycling standpoint they were too, unless of course you don’t have a heart (seeing Thibaut Pinot cry and DNF), are a fan of Pirates (Alaphilippe) in cosplay taking it to the Stormtroopers (Team Ineos) and hate, Hate, HATE seeing Vincenzo and Rigo throwing hands the proper way, take note Luke Rowe.
Fortunately conditions that rivalled the 2018 WNTRSLSTC ride brought stage 19 to an abrupt halt, and would affect the running of Stage 20 as well. Catching on from previous years with the sprint climb stages, riders would now be faced with just 59km of racing, albeit mostly up hill. Bernal seemingly had the Maillot Jaune in the bag, it was up to everyone else to light up the final day of racing.
TOUR DE BEECHWORTH
A Celebration of Franco-Australian Cuisine
On the final weekend of the Tour de France, we had been invited to the Tour de Beechworth – a Saturday of riding in the morning, a hilltop lunch and a little riding in the afternoon. After a post ride shower, relax by the fire and a ramraid of the local takeaway shop for their potato cakes, sundown coincided with doors open for the annual Tour de Beechworth Franco-Australian dinner.
This booming dinner is held in the epicentre of the Bridge Road Brewers facility, amongst pallets of “shit in boxes”, hops, yeasts and grains. Ageing barrels were sitting proudly behind the pop-up bar, while bottling machinery was hidden behind our projector screen for the night. Having attended last year, we had a rough idea of what to expect, but with an all new vegan menu added on and an extra long table proving the dinners popularity, we were in for another treat of a night.
House-made Baguette with butter
Pork & Chicken Terrine with Apple Chutney
Confit Duck, Potato Cream, Mushrooms & Winter Greens
Chocolate Tart, Pistachio & Chantilly Cream
Ossau Iraty, Beechworth Honeycomb, Apple & Crackers
The Vegan Menu
House-made Baguette with local Olive Oil
Vegetable Pâte with Seeds & Crostini
Mushroom Ragù, Potato Cream, Winter Greens
Chocolate & Raspberry Tart
Cashew Cheese, Apple, Crackers
SKYPE CALL WITH DAD
As per tradition shortly after mains were finished up we beamed across to the Dad of SBS Cycling, Mike Tomalaris. While there wouldn’t be any repeat of last years run in with Le Gendarme, Mike gave us a behind the scenes look at presenting the Tour de France, complete with the now patented Dadview over Skype. Shortly after starting he was joined by Bridge Road founder Ben and his wife Maria, the both of them having gapped a nearby road on mountain bikes to make it past security and into the media compound.
The biggest takeaway from the end of the conversation – Mike reckons Richie is finally past his best, and thus Grand Tour contention.
TRIVIA AND THE LITRE OF BEER
Desserts came out as replays of the previous nights stage were broadcast over the projector screen. The assortment of tarts capping off what had been a great series of courses that made the most of local produce presented in the French Australian Style. That was of course unless you were Adrian with a nut allergy – an Apple Strudel being the replacement on offer.
After plates began their journey back into the kitchen and a few people began calling it a night, Dave Muz from Grove assumed the position as Chief Trivia Prizegiver. Dean, rooted to his seat at the prospect of taking home something free laid down concentration levels that hadn’t been used since his year 12 exams to nab himself a Grove Musette filled with a handful of goodies. He answered the following question:
“Which Melbourne suburb is Prova based?”
Not since he bent the laws of science and Strava to take the Yarra Street KOM has he moved so fast. But that hand was definitely up first, and his unbridled joy could be seen by all across the Brewery. Onya Jonesy!
As for the rest of us, we all ventured back to our accomodation and homes through the foggy night. Warm cups of Milo or tea would provide us with enough warmth to last out a stage that only took Vincenzo Nibali an hour and fifty minutes.
Next up we close the Tour de Snacks with a delicate and sweet, custard filled finish. The riders hit the streets of Paris and we hit the kitchen to take on Gabriel Gaté’s cover recipe.