Cycling / France Quiz #2!

 Another quiz to while away a few minutes! Thinking caps on, answers at bottom of page!


  1. Which drink was created by the Mayor of Dijon to use up the local surplus production of blackcurrants?
  2. Who composed this skeletal work?
  3. Which team, led by the French ‘housewives favourite’ Richard Virenque, and sponsored by a Swiss watch manufacturer, were at the heart of the 1998 Tour de France drug scandal?
  4. Jeanne d’Arc (Joan of Arc) was known as the ‘Maid of…’ where?
  5. What tragic event occurred in 1944 in the village of Oradour-sur-Glane near Limoges?
  6. Which impressionist painted ‘A Bar at The Folies Bergère’ ? 
  7. Which American bike manufacturer made the Stingray model with ‘apehanger’ handlebars and ‘banana’ seat?
  8. What does ‘CV’ stand for in relation to the iconic Citroen 2CV car?
  9. Which sheep’s milk cheese must be made in the Combalau limestone caves in southwest France and using only milk from the local Lacaune sheep breed?
  10. Which renaissance man spent his last years under the patronage of King Francois I of France at the Manor Clos Lucé in Amboise?









  1. Kir. The classic aperitif of white wine and blackcurrant liqueur, was invented by Canon Félix Kir, who was a hero in the French Resistance during the Second World War, and also the Mayor of the Burgundian town Dijon from 1945 to 1968. For a Kir Royale swap still wine for sparkling (Crémant de Bourgogne is great, champagne is a waste!)
  2. Camille Saint-Saëns. This piece is 'Fossils' from the Carnival of the Animals suite, and is one of the few classical pieces where the xylophone takes centre stage!
  3. Festina. The fall out of the affair, when the riders refused to race because of increased testing after drugs were found on the team coach, ended with Virenque being banned for 9 months. The resulting changes to testing failed to stop Lance Armstron from winning 7 subsequent Tours de France... Yellow Fever by Jeremy Whittle and End of the Road by William Fotheringham are great accounts of the saga. 
  4. Orléans. The young Joan had a vision from the Archangel Michael telling her to recover France from English control and reinstate Charles VII as its rightful king, a mission she should fulfill with divine purpose. Odd thing for an angel to be bothered about but there you go. Saint Joan was burnt at the stake in Rouen in 1431.
  5. A massacre. The whole village was rounded up by the SS in response to the alleged kidnapping of an German officer. The men were marched off and shot. Women and children were herded into the village church which was set on fire. 642 died. The village has been preserved exactly as it was on the day the massacre took place. Visiting it is a very moving experience.
  6. Edouard Manet. Painted in 1892, it is one of the great Impressionist works - the painting is unusual in that half of the painting is taken up with the mirror behind the subject.
  7. Schwinn. Created to mimic the 'chopper' motorcycles immortalised in the film Easy Rider, European cyclists will be more familiar with the Raleigh Chopper equivalent!
  8. Chevaux. Which is the French word for 'horses'. Although it had a bit more power than 2HP, with the original 450cc aircooled twin cylinder engine it wasn't a lot more!
  9. Roquefort. The tangy blue cheese was supposedly invented by accident after a shepherd left his lunch in one of the caves. When he went back a few weeks later, bacteria in the cave had worked their magic...
  10. Leonardo da Vinci. The Manoir de Clos Lucé is a museum to Da Vinci, and the gardens contain life size recreations of his theoretical inventions, like the tank, helicopter and parachute.