1. Hors catégorie – poor old Citroën Traction Avant!
    Posted On: July 24th, 2014

    Hors catégorie – poor old Citroën Traction Avant!

    You may have wondered how the Tour de France categorizes the hills and mountains it crosses. OK, maybe not?     Quite likely, this is a question that went round and round the heads of the riders as they struggled up and over The Pyrenees this week.     Hills are categorised on a scale […]
  2. Le Grand Départ
    Posted On: December 20th, 2012

    Le Grand Départ

      The ‘Grand Départ’ of the historic centenary of the Tour de France will start next June in the picturesque port of Porto Vecchio on the south-eastern coast of Corsica and should attract thousands of cycling fans to the Granite Island. One hopes that some of them will acquaint themselves with the local wines which […]
  3. Yapp Brothers Celebrate the Olympics
    Posted On: August 1st, 2012

    Yapp Brothers Celebrate the Olympics

    Robin and I have spent the last four weeks in France, and have been enthusiastically following the Tour de France. There is no better way of escaping the afternoon heat than by lying on the sofa watching those guys climb mountains, and justifying it all by improving one’s French listening to the commentary on French […]
  4. Bringing it all back home
    Posted On: July 25th, 2012

    Bringing it all back home

    Bastille Day. I stood in Start Pen 7 (out of 9) in Pau’s Place de Verdun at 6.15, surrounded by 8,000 other riders. A sea of lycra and bikes. They say that cycling is now worth £2bn to the UK economy and most of it seemed to have turned up in Pau. Half the participants […]
  5. Cycling Quiz - Answers and Winners
    Posted On: May 18th, 2012

    Cycling Quiz - Answers and Winners

    Back in April we set a fiendish quiz based on the Tour de France bike race mixed with a bit of local wine knowledge - we had a first prize of a rather nice cycling jersey, thanks to our friends over at Rapha, and we offered two runners up prizes of a bottle of Yapp […]
  6. Once Upon a Kitchen…
    Posted On: April 4th, 2012

    Once Upon a Kitchen…

    My date with destiny in the Pyrenees approaches faster than I would like. Three months into proper training for the Etape 2012 (see January blog) and I have covered 700 training miles on the bike (I had hoped to have 1,000 miles under the belt by Easter). Speaking of the belt, while I am getting […]
  7. For Every Beginning, There Is An End.
    Posted On: January 11th, 2012

    For Every Beginning, There Is An End.

    The end, I hope, will be celebrating in the spa town of Bagnères-de-Luchon on Saturday 14th July, Bastille Day. However, the substantial Ying for that Yang is that I aim to have cycled 197km over the Pyrenees’ finest climbs after leaving Pau that morning. Along with several pals and around 7,000 other riders, I have […]
  8. Pyrenean Peaks
    Posted On: June 10th, 2010

    Pyrenean Peaks

    Having developed an unhealthy interest in cycling the legendary peaks of the Tour de France over the past few years and having my friend Paul Bottrill entered in to this year's Etape du Tour (see August 2009 posting 'Etape in Cotes du Rhone'), I chose to spend a long Bank Holiday weekend on 'recon' in […]
  9. Etape in Côtes du Rhône Villages country
    Posted On: August 5th, 2009

    Etape in Côtes du Rhône Villages country

    9.00am on Monday 20th July and I found myself sweeping through the most northerly outpost of the named Côtes du Rhône Villages, Rousset-les-Vignes. Eighteen villages are entitled to add their 'handle' to the Côtes du Rhône Villages moniker, marking them out as superior to generic Côtes du Rhône. As I swept past gnarled vines and lavender fields I […]

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