Feeding frenzy

So many compliments and three marriage proposals, it’s almost enough to turn a girl’s head.  Yesterday it felt as if we were feeding the five thousand, although it was only around 600 cyclists and volunteers. My (in)famous pain d’epice garnered much praise, including some from a maitre patissier. I am however still very reluctant to divulge my recipe.

As you know, my aim was not to run short of food and, me and my crack all-female team of volunteers, we just about squeaked it. We were down to our last couple of packets of biscuits when the feed station was closed at around noon. This was immediately followed by a generous apero for the presentation of the prizes for the Ronde where I happily reprised my favourite role as the world’s oldest podium girl. I got to kiss a lot of fit, young, Italians, not bad work for a Sunday morning.

Afterwards, I packed everything up, drove home and promptly fell asleep on the sofa. Feeling refreshed by my longish cap nap, I compiled the results of the Ronde and the pointage for onward transmission to our cycling federation. I then managed to catch the last few kilometers, of the last stage, of the Tour of Burgos. Both the stage and the overall was won by one of my favourite Spaniards, Samu Sanchez.

With my beloved having departed for the States yesterday morning, I have a few days of peace and quiet to restore order to the flat, catch up on my chores and sort out the guest room ready for the arrival of my Swiss cycling friends. They’re staying overnight and then we’re all travelling down to the Luberon for a concerted attacked on Mont Ventoux this week end.

Busy as a bee

As per the cycling programme, this week is one of rest, recuperation and rejuvenation. I only have 41/2hrs of cycling spread over three days. Now, as I’m always telling my beloved, there’s no point in having a training programme if you’re not prepared to follow it to the letter.  This rest period fortunately coincides with preparations for the week end’s Ronde du St Laurent du Var and our club’s pointage. I would have liked to have ridden the Ronde, but we’re desperately short of volunteers, so it’s all hands on deck. My aim would have been to avoid being lapped more than once. The training in the Basque country on all those short steep hills would have been perfect preparation for the Ronde, but sadly we’ll never know.

I have something of a logistical problem. While Tom II, my beloved Smart car is surprisingly spacious, I have to drop my beloved husband off at the airport early on Sunday morning. There is room in the car either for all the food for the pointage and the apero after the Ronde, or my beloved. Yes, I think we know who’s going to be getting the boot!

I was rather disappointed with the fare provided at this event last year. You know my motto, “never knowingly under-catered” so I have taken charge of the catering this year. I have already made some of my “famous” pain d’epice and banana bread to enliven the usual pointage spread and plan to make some savoury cake to supplement the other nibbles for the apero. There’s no way we’re going to run short of food this year!

There’s a number of stage races taking place this week (Burgos, Portugal, Denmark, Poland) and yesterday afternoon I finally caught up with the Tour of Poland, which has been moved from September, no doubt on account of the weather. As I switched on the transmission, Johnny Hoogerland was up front in a breakaway. I’ve not seen too much of him this year largely on account of Vacansoleil’s lack of invites to the stellar events. However rumour has it that they’re looking to beef up their roster next year and are after one of my favourite Spaniard’s, Samu Sanchez (pictured below). They obviously feel he will be their ticket into those afore-mentioned stellar events.

Samu

One of Johnny’s team mates probably endured some good natured ribbing over the dinner table yesterday evening. After Johnny had been absorbed back into the peloton, Marco Mercato took off with a rider from Saxo Bank. The race finished with 3 circuits of the finishing town but either Mercato hadn’t looked at his route book or he can’t count. He sprinted away from the Saxo Bank rider,  raising his arms as he crossed the finishing line for only the second time. He realised his error too late to avoid the advancing peloton. The stage was instead won by Mirco Lorenzetto (who also took the leader’s jersey) ahead of Lampre team mate, Grega Bole. Today’s a very lumpy stage so the leader’s jersey will probably end up on someone else’s shoulder’s this evening.