On the Tour de France’s first rest day, Lionel Birnie made the trip to Castres to meet Jonathan Vaughters for lunch.
Things didn’t quite go to plan. Inexplicably, and despite reserving a table, the restaurant was finishing its lunch service at 1.30pm and so Lionel and Jonathan had to search for a brasserie that was still serving lunch.
The food and wine may not have lived up to expectations but the conversation did. This was the day after EF Education First’s team leader Rigoberto Uran had been caught out in the crosswinds and lost important time in the Tour, but Vaughters was in a relaxed mood.
The conversation starts with the here and now – the 2019 Tour de France – but covers Vaughters’s life and career, his doping as a rider, his determination to create a team that does not tempt riders to make the choices he did, and his recently published memoir.
Just the least said about the confit de canard the better…
Lunch with Jonathan Vaughters