Saturday, 30 June 2012


Le Tour traditionally begins with a Prologue Time Trial in which the individual cyclists compete "contre le montre" (against the clock). Tour de France rankings are based on time (the overall leader wears the Maillot Jaune/Yellow Jersey) though there are also competitions for points won (the Green Jersey), climbing (polka dot King of the Mountains jersey), and best young rider. The previous year's winner (in this case, Australian cyclist Cadel Evans) always goes last in the Time Trial, and wears the yellow jersey. A test of pure speed and power, the Prologue Time Trial may give an indication of the overall winner of the Tour, though not always, but the serious contenders, who cannot afford to lose a single second, will undoubtedly reveal their form, and will be looking to notch up some impressive results to set them on their course for the rest of the Tour, and to psych out their rivals.

Go to most bars in Belgium, and you'll probably find the ubiquitous Jupiler beer on sale, if not on tap (pressé) then in a bottle. It's Belgium's best-selling beer, a pale lager that has been been brewed since 1966. The Tour Prologue Time Trial follows a 6.4km route around Liège, which is where you will find the Jupiler brewery. Belgium is famous for its huge variety of beers - from lagers to white beers, fruit beers, trappist beers (some dangerously potent!), and even "champagne" beers. The restaurant chain Belgo has made Belgian beer and food popular in the UK for over 20 years now, and we are lucky enough to have a fantastic gastropub nearby in Twickenham: Brouge at The Old Goat specialises in Belgium beers and food (a sort of "mini Belgo"). We're headed there to sample a glass of cold Jupiler (or maybe Leffe) to chat over the Prologue result and what runes it casts for the fortunes of the Classement favourites. We're sure Cadel has relaxed with a cold Jupiler at the end of a hard season of racing, and we hope he can look back on this Tour with a typical big Cadel smile on his face.

Cadel Evans, 2011 winner

Brouge at The Old Goat

Prologue Time Trial information

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