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Tour de France

Tour notebook: Cav ties Badger, hand-painted polka dots

The VeloNews team gets the lowdown on Peloton the sheep, Stuyven's KOM apparel, and even some Tinkoff dinner-table humor

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Our Tour de France reporters already bring you the biggest stories and best analysis every day. But what of the notes they scrawl in the margins, those little bits of gossip and narrative that are as much a part of the Tour as Chris Froome and the color yellow, but which rarely see the light of day? You’ll find those here.

Notes from the margins

Not enough yellow?
Oleg Tinkov was spotted outside the Tinkoff team bus chatting on his phone about a yellow bike for Sagan, which never materialized. “You have a yellow bus!” A bystander joked. To which Tinkov replied, in his best Voldemort voice, “I have lots of things. Things you’d never even dream of.” Menacing indeed.

Paint by numbers polka dots
Even his own Trek – Segafredo team couldn’t have predicted that big classics man Jasper Stuyven would grab the polka dot jersey this Tour. So it’s no great surprise that they didn’t have Jasper-sized polkaduds at the ready. But that was no problem. Stuyven and his teammates got out red Sharpies and drew polka dots on his white Bontrager shoes.

No motors here
The UCI checked 76 bikes for motors at the start and 26 at the finish. It didn’t find any. It also made 600 Swiss francs by fining five cyclists (four for 100CHF, one for 200CHF) for “incorrect behavior,” which usually means they took a bathroom break near fans.

What’s with the sheep?
The Normandy Grand Départ organization gave some teams little sheep (see photo at top) to “take around.” Cannondale-Drapac has one and named it Peloton. Of course, Trek – Segafredo has the OG Tour de France sheep, Herman.

Cav ties with the Badger
Mark Cavendish’s stage win was his 28th at the Tour de France. He is now tied with Bernard Hinault for most Tour stage wins ever. In first is Eddy Merckx.

“It’s more than I ever dreamed. There is no way I could compare myself to those greats. 28 is 28. If I had only won one stage in the Tour de France, it would already great. If this is my last Tour win of my career, I’ll be happy.”

Bad luck Bertie
According to Laura Meseguer of Eurosport, as Sagan opened champagne at the dinner table last night he quipped to his GC leader, “Be careful, Alberto, with the luck you have, the cork might hit you …”

Up next

Tuesday’s stage: Samur to Limoges, 237.5km due south. A single categorized climb and a single sprint point will liven things up, but otherwise don’t expect much excitement until the final 15 kilometers. Scheduled finish time is 5:01pm local time, or 11:01 EDT.

Weather update: Sun! As the race heads south the sun is set to shine, at least most of the time. High temperatures around 77 will keep the riders happy. Wind will be mild.