In the wide world of professional sports, there is no greater spectacle, no single endurance event more renowned than the world’s biggest cycling race. Competitors from all over the world gather in the picturesque countryside to test their mettle in the ultimate battle of two-wheeled prowess with a side of frites. Welcome to a 73-mile day of sausage gluttony and pure endurance. Mmes et mssrs, bienvenue to the Tour de Frănks. Bon Tour!
On Monday, our field of four eager racers met at Kitsbow HQ with a hunger for three things: hot dogs with all the fixings, miles of country roads, and the coveted maillot moutarde.
Our first stage was relatively flat and the peloton arrived to Roy’s Chicago Doggery at the Petaluma Livestock Auction Yard without incident. As we sat and perused the menu, an auction from next door set the soundtrack to our first challenge. Three Outlaw Dogs (Polish with bacon, buffalo sauce, cheddar and onions) were ordered, but rider Colby Pastore made a breakaway by ordering the Chicago Style Combo. Could he clinch the stage win?
With relish; Colby managed to fiendishly wolf down a Chicago Dog (an all-beef dog with mustard, tomatoes, sport peppers, onions and a pickle), a Junior Italian Beef, fries, and a shake! In the first stage of the Tour, Colby was clearly the wiener. The peloton took off with a few road dogs in their pockets for the next stage.
The sausagefest continued onward through the golden summertime hills of Petaluma, crossed into Marin County via Nicasio, and then towards a mountaintop stage finish on the Col du Aioli. Sweet skids and rad wheelies were busted out, but a complex weenie hand-up maneuver gave Aaron the real advantage as he charged to the summit. The passion for more dog burned brightly in this young rider’s eyes, and he ate his way to victory in the second stage.
A three-mile descent brought our racers to a grand third stage finish at Gestalt Haus in Fairfax. They were greeted by the fair maiden of Gestalt, who poured them frosty, frothy tankards of Drake’s 1500 and Aventinus Doppelbock. With their bellies still full of road dogs, the riders begrudgingly managed to polish off a Swiss bockwurst and beef dog with sauerkraut. With a flourish, Nicholas managed to down his mug of ale and ingest the best ‘wurst of the day to take the third stage win. But there was no time to celebrate; after 31 miles and roughly three dogs each, the peloton pushed onward.
Grueling paved climb after punchy gravel climb, the riders challenged each other as they worked their way to Lucas Valley Road. The redwood-lined country road zigged and zagged as our weiner-full warriors traded pulls at the front of the peloton. Elliot made a daring break that he managed to sustain until Big Rock Trail, where the fourth stage finish was held. Each engorged cyclist took turns bombing the trail, trying to whip and drift their way to victory, but the true champion of this stage was Elliot, whose breakaway left the other racers unable to catsup.
Twenty long, hot miles back to Petaluma ended with some controversy due to the premature ejection of Colby after he failed a weenie-doping test. This left only three all-natural dogs in the race. Without stopping, they bee-lined an additional six miles to Ernie’s Tin Bar, a converted auto garage roadhouse popular with blue collar bikers and their canine companions. Three Stone IPAs were consumed with peanuts, and then the riders were off for the final stage of this year’s Tour.
The glow of El Roy’s taco truck set the stage for the nighttime grand finale. The riders pulled in and lined up to order. Elliot set the tone with two sopes de pastor and a shrimp taco. Nicholas met his challenge, then pulled ahead with an order of a Mexi-dog (beef dog wrapped in bacon with jalapeno, caramelized onions, and tomatoes). Aaron answered the call: two sopes, a taco, and a Mexi-dog. Without a dog in the race, Elliot was out. The flamme tomate went up as the remaining two adversaries stuffed their faces. In the heat of the final sprint, Nicholas suffered a mechanical by dropping some of his taco on the ground. Aaron powered his way forward to devour the stage victory, and therefore the maillot moutarde. Aaron was the big wiener of this year’s Tour. Chapeau.
Hot dog, what a race! Congratulations to all our riders on a spectacular ride, and a special thank you to all our sponsors who clearly have the best Frănks around.
This concludes our coverage of the 2016 Tour de Frănks. Until next year…Now let’s eat!