So we are coming towards the end of the The Tour de France 2016. I’ve now been watching the Tour on and off for over 20 years. Initially my interest was to impress the Mechanic. Every day for three weeks I watched intently the highlights, listening to Phil Liggett, (I don’t remember the other chap’s name) and then later I would try to impress Mr M. with little TdF anecdotes gleaned from Phil.
I don’t absorb the facts like the Mechanic does, he could probably go on Mastermind, Specialist subject – The Tour de France – Years 1980 to date. If I’m honest, my interest is more faddish, I enjoyed the Tour the Miguel Indurain years, I got a little bored during the doping years, similarly with ‘that Texan’, but then with the emergence and success of the Sky team and British cycling my interest has been sparked again.
This year I have a secret crush on Mark Cavendish, I’m a big supporter of Geraint Thomas, I like the fact that Richie Porte eats Toblerone, and I’m always entertained by Peter Sagan. I’ve been watching the highlights on ITV4, Ned Boutling and David Millar have informed me that Cavendish has now got more stage wins than Bernard Hinault.
Four years ago, it was very apparent that I had no idea who Hinault was, I thought he was a tuna melt sandwich. To explain – the Mechanic and I were on a cycling holiday in Mallorca, each day we and our fellow cyclists, finished our daily ride at the un-imaginatively named Hard Bike Cafe, for a post ride lunch. The menu listed a Hinault sandwich, as well as a Contador sandwich and a Max Hürzeler burger. To the Mechanic’s horror I asked what was Hinault, in front of our new cycling friends.
Who was Hinault? I’m currently reading The Badger by William Fotheringham, and I now know that Hinault won the Tour five times, and he is one of only six cyclists to have won all three of the Grand Tours, and also one of only two cyclists to have won each more than once, the other being Alberto Contador. Ahh, that explains the name of the Hard Bike Cafe chicken sandwich. I still don’t know who Max Hürzeler is.
Note – The Hard Bike Cafe, is now known as the Bike Point Cafe, perhaps the Hard Rock Cafe had something to say about its name and remarkably similar logo. If you are cycling and staying in the Playa de Muro area, its a perfect place to stop post-ride for good food and friendly staff.