To the victor(s) go the spoils, and today we brought home victory pâté. At least that’s what I thought it was upon first glance. It turns out that it’s a terrine pur porc plus another rillettes pur porc, which presumably will pair well with the three bottles of wine we also nabbed, plus some chocolate. A few hours of exquisite riding across Europe followed by delectable food and wine? This really is an inGamba experience in the making.
Suffice it to say that day one of inGamba’s first attempt at the Haute Route was a success. We have arms full of delicious prizes because Team inGamba took home top honors in both the men’s and women’s categories. Yours truly, Ted King, as well as my beautiful girlfriend Laura were the respective winners.
This is a startling success for the “Ted and Laura go multi-day bike racing together” saga, which commenced today at the start line. Actually, it really began three days ago in Boston. From there, we flew to Barcelona and then to Frankfurt, followed by a quick 600km drive in the inGamba adventure van. We skirted just south of the Pyrenees and arrived in Biarritz, France at 11pm, just a mere 26 hours after departure. Uneventful, outside being extremely long for at least half of our dynamic duo since Laura cannot sleep on planes nor in cars.
Haute Route is an interesting entity to fully grasp. Mind you, I’m summarizing it after just one stage, so take this with a grain of salt. Here’s my astute take: as I mentioned yesterday, Europeans take their grandfondos incredibly seriously, so use that as your benchmark and then multiply by ten given that there are seven stages and to that we may as well add three more for good measure. But we’re not riding seven blah routes; we’re basically riding six consecutive Tour de France mountain stages, broken up only by a mountaintop time trial thrown in the middle, like a fine punch to the face.
I figure that when in Rome, do as the Romans, so when in France, I should consume steak tartare for lunch and then a squid ink risotto for dinner. Had I only started with a buttery escargot and finished with a delicate soufflé it would have been the Frenchest of all French culinary experiences.
Alas, we are here to ride and race and overall have a très bon week so to say the least we’re off to a smashing start.