TOUR DE SNACKS STAGE 2: BASTILLE DAY

 

You could almost forgive the processional nature of the Tour de France’s final stage into Paris for what it serves up on Bastille Day. As Gabriel Gaté reminded us in our interview, if there is 2 things the French love, it’s Bastille Day and Le Tour. While it is normally a day of celebration, the fact that it fell on a Sunday meant the vibe was increase tenfold.

As for the professional cycling race? They had a 170.5km stage ahead of them from Saint-Étienne down to Brioude, cutting through the Massif Central. Sure the peloton would be cutting through a mountain range, but the profile would barely push itself above 1000m above sea level. Instead a profile that was either up or down, and entirely lined by adoring French fans was what awaited riders ahead of their Sunday spin.

 
 
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Our Stage

For us? It would be much the same…kind of. The distance, the vert and the speed would be negligible compared to the professional race, but we still had to content with 4 climbs, a twisting parcours and some on and off again weather as we made our way 7km north to the finish up on K-Road. Fortunately the test that lay ahead was made slightly easier by the familiarity of the streets. The scenic route north through Melbourne’s inner north-west was paired with streets often used for commutes, sporadic Wednesday morning rides and trips to the shops.

 
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After weaving our way north through our own neighbourhood, the flamme rouge would greet us at the top of the final climb up to K-Road, a right hand turn followed by a steady descent to the finish line at the Parisian Patisserie, our DS already there enjoying the French fare.

 
 
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Locals get too easily sucked into Creme across the street, meaning that even on a Sunday morning we were able to easily cop all the seats outside, and immediately proceed to cover them in tiny plates filled with pastries, discuss our arduous second stage, and recap Le Tour so far.

Would we lay down some predictions for the second half of Le Tour? With our Giro d’Italia podcast the reference point to go by, it wouldn’t be a good move. That night we were justified in our decision making, the most un-French rider in South African Daryl Impey taking a rather French type victory into Brioude. His sprint from a day’s breakaway a true Bastille Day performance brimming with panache.

 
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A suite of savoury pastries kicked us off outside the Patisserie. An “unforgettable mushroom and leek croissant” would go on to change Kip’s perspective on croissants, while rounds of coffees would help perfect Lunette’s, croissants and a Chocolate Dôme that had recently graduated University down the hatch before the ride back to the team hotel home.

 
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Bellies full and hearts warmed we were off again, descending back through the neighbourhood on an alternate route that offered stunning views looking back towards the city. We reached the bottom of the rose lined Moonee Valley Racecourse for a spot of switchback doping, the coffee and pastries coursing through our veins, leaving us ready to lay out a Tour de Snacks winning performance over the next few weeks.

 
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Next up we have Stage 3 of the Tour de Snacks where we will be heading to a local cheese shop as the race hits the midi-Pyrenees mountains. Keep track of our stage reports and submit your favourite snacks for review below!

 
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