Saturday, September 19, 2020

Wine and Food of Le Tour 2020 Stage 20

From the race director: The end of Tour time-trials are the less predictable of the discipline. They’re even less when the course on the menu is an uphill climb like the one to La Planche-des-Belles-Filles, 5.9kms long at an average of 8.5%. If the gaps are small, the positions on the podium could dramatically change.

Specialties Lure: potée comtoise, cancoillotte (melted cheese), Luxeuil ham, craquelés lurons (biscuits), griottines from Fougerolles, trésor des Ballons (pastry created by chefs from the Ballons des Vosges Regional Nature Park)

Specialties La Planche-des-Belles-Filles: cancoillotte cheese, Charcenne wine and cheese, Fougerolles AOC kirsch, Villeminfroy water, Grillotines of Fougerolles, myrtles in Belfahy, Montbozon biscuits, Luxeuil lace, Passavant-la-TarbesRochère glass and crystal.

The stage
: Why hello time trial. We've missed you. Time trials at the end of grand tours are designed for drama: two rivals close enough on GC that a winning ride is essential to keep the race leader's jersey. There was also the race for the stage win, which is a very different animal during a time trial than during a road stage, the old cliche of each man for himself.  
With a little over half the riders having started, our stage leader was a name we had seen recently:
Some trivia for the day: Since 1934, only five editions of the Tour de France had only one time trial: 1934, 1947, 1948, 1953 and 2014. On the other hand, the 1979 edition of the reached a record number of 7 time trials for a total number of kilometres of 340km.

Cavagna would hold onto that position for a long time.
Looking very good on the road was Van Aert. And he would come in with the best time of the day: 57' 26".
Having a good day on the bike, Pogacar. He would pass Lopez, his two minute man. Also very fast, Dumoulin. He would come in at 57:16 and into the hot seat.
Behind him, Pogacar still seemed to be having a better day than Roglic.
This was looking like a shocking stage.
Riding himself onto the podium: Richie Porte!
Pogacar in at 55:55. Wow. Roglic would come in  5th on the stage, 1'56'' down on Pogacar. I, for one, would have lost a bet today.

And the GC heading into Paris.

The wineMeyer Fonne Pinot Noir Altenbourg 2015
I opened this after a long breaking news day and actually said out loud: wow, this is good.
From the importerWhile Alsace is predominantly a white wine–growing region, roughly ten percent of its vineyard land is planted to Pinot Noir. This has typically gone toward the production of sparkling whites and rosés, but recently Alsatian reds have been gaining significant momentum, as ambitious vignerons seek to take advantage of the increasingly warm climate to craft serious red wines. Furthermore, the varied soil types on the eastern flank of the Vosges give many expressions of the grape.
The 2015 is Felix Meyer’s inaugural “Altenbourg” bottling and it has come out of the gates with an electric start. This is a rich, ample, seductive wine with notes of tea leaves, strawberries, and blackberries, ready to drink now or in 5-10 years. Its class reaches that of many premier cru red Burgundies, so if you have not experienced the beauty of top-notch Alsace Pinot Noir, this is a perfect place to start.

In 2015, the Park ordered a travel cake recipe from the final year students of the JBS Chardin high school in Gérardmer and the packaging and communication research to the pro license students of the IUT of St-Dié-des-Vosges. The territory of the Park is known for its blue line, its balloons and its industrial valleys and for its different gastronomic features. Until now, there has not been an emblematic common cake from the south of the Vosges Mountains that you can share during a hike or bring back from your vacation to offer it to your neighbors.

The Trésor des Ballons, an ambassadorial cake created by the Park, is a collective project whose creation has been entrusted to young people, a symbol of the future and renewal. The park accompanied them in the discovery of the smells, colors, shapes and products of its territory.

The recipe for this so-called travel cake was created by the students of the professional high school JBS Chardin in Gérardmer , the packaging research by a trainee from the IUT of Colmar , the communication by the students of the professional license of the IUT of Saint- Dié-des-Vosges .

Storyteller Françoise PECCHIURA was invited to write the legend. The molds were designed by the company de Buyer from Val d'Ajol.

The Ballons treasure has been marketed since July 2016 in 39 pastry shops in Haut-Rhin , Haute-Saône, Territoire de Belfort and Vosges. The brand belongs to the Park and an agreement specifies the details of this partnership with professional unions and pastry craftsmen. It confirms everyone's commitment to making quality pastry and promoting the use of products in short circuits. Its rectangular shape and the design of the communication make it a modern and authentic product at the same time.

This financier with wild blueberry, brimbelle, gingerbread dough base and blueberry jam. The soft pastry can be kept for 15 days without the need for particular freshness. Enough to easily feed a hike or constitute an ideal present when returning from a stay in the Vosges heights.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Wine and Food of Le Tour 2020 Stage 19

From the race director: Two days before the end of the race, the title and podium contenders might have the freedom to start focusing on the challenge that awaits the following day. It’ll therefore be up to the sprinters having survived the Alps to seize this opportunity to shine. The finish is really made for strong men.
Specialties Bourg-En-Bresse: AOP Bresse poultry, AOP Bresse cream and butter, Giraudet quenelles, Bleu de Bresse cheese, AOC Comté, Gaudrioles (biscuits), wines of Bugey AOC.
Specialties Champagnole:  delicatessen with Fumé du Jura. Cheese: in the heart of the Comté region, Champagnole (goat cheese). Jura galette (sweet or sour pancake). Champagnolais (pastry). Honey (epicea, flowers).

The stage: A solo breakaway! Sure, why not? With 100 kilometers to go Cavagna had 2:35 over the Bora led bunch behind.
Not the way you want to go out of the race: Apparently he had an anaphylactic reaction and was taken to the hospital but was reportedly doing well. Yikes.
On the road, 79 kilometers to go and the gap was 1:36.
Le Tour is always there to fill us in: One month ago, breakaway rider Rémi Cavagna won the French championship for time trial but he was also disappointed to miss out on the Tour de France selection. He eventually got the call to replace Zdenek Stybar who was forced out with a knee-tendon injury. Five days prior to stage 1 of the Tour in Nice, he took the silver medal at the European championship for time trial in Plouay, 17'' down on Stefan Küng. It was a 25.6km course. The coming world championship in Imola offers his favourite distance: 31.7km.  
With the intermediate sprint coming up at 50 kilometers to go, he was still solo with three chasers slightly ahead of the peloton.
After that point, the sprinters put their heads down and kept going, chasing Cavagna, who had gotten compay: Rolland, Rowe and Cosnefroy.
The sprinters would be reeled in, but more attacks would launch.
But they would come all together, with around 36 kilometers to go, seemingly setting things up for the sprint ahead.
Instead though, more attacks.
A large group was together with 25 kilometers to go. Luke Rowe (Ineos), Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), Oliver Naesen (Ag2r La Mondiale), Sam Bennett and Dries Devenyns (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), Greg van Avermaet and Matteo Trentin (CCC Team), Jack Bauer and Luka Mezgec (Mitchelton-Scott), Nikias Arndt and Soren Kragh Andersen (Team Sunweb).

From that group. Andersen would get a gap. What a great win for him. Two stages on this Tour!

The wine: Domaine Pierre Richard Poulsard 2018 from Copake Wine Works
From an importerThe estate has its roots beginning in 1919 when Xavier Richard purchased the adjacent properties from his neighbors, but it wasn't until his son Jean Richard took over did they begin concentrating on wine. In fact, by 1947 the domaine cultivated a local reputation in the area for its wines and by 1976, Pierre Richard continued the family tradition extending the property to Mantry where a former hill of vines has been reclaimed. Situated in the heart of the Jura, between Seille River and Lons le Saunier, the soils are perfect for white wine making and the vineyard plots have names that reflect on their past uses: "Les Charmes", "La Croix du Gyps" ... etc. But the domaine is small, encompassing only 9 hectares between the communes of Le Vernois, Voiteur and Mantry. After studying viticulture and oenology at Beaune, taking jobs in vineyards of St. Emilion and Cotes de Provence, Vincent returned to take over the family domaine in 2009 and follows in a long tradition of organic practices in the making of his wines. 
Food:  Comte cheese
From a regional site: For more than ten centuries, villagers of Jura Massif, Eastern France have lovingly crafted a unique and delicious cheese: Comté. This stunning region of mountains stretches between Jura and Doubs in the Franche-Comté region, and Ain in the Rhones-Alpes region, and is home to over 3,000 family farms dedicated to producing the highest quality of raw milk that is required to create Comté cheese.
Comté cows are authorised exclusively from the Montbéliarde and French Simmental breeds. With each cow given a whole hectare of pasture land in the summer months, they are free to feed on a delicious natural grass diet.
Due to its distinctive nature, cultural value and economic importance for the region, Comté was deservedly granted Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) status in 1958.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Wine and Food of Le Tour 2020 Stage 18

From the race director: The course of the day is made for the most enduring climbers. Indeed over 4,000m of climbing will be on the menu. In the following order, the peloton will head up to the Cormet de Roselend, then the Col des Saisies followed by Les Aravis and finally the Plateau des Glières, a key location of the French Resistance, before continuing towards La Roche-sur-Foron.

Specialties: cheese (Abondance, Reblochon, Tomme of Savoy), fondue savoyarde, tartiflette, raclette, berthoud, Rochoise beer (silver medal in 2018).

The stage: Bumpy map today. Appropriately, many riders can target the KOM jersey: 18 riders who already have a minimum of 20 KOM points can mathematically take the polka dot jersey, including escape artists Cosnefroy, Pierre Rolland, Nans Peters, Richard Carapaz, Marc Hirschi, Lennard Kämna, Jesus Herrada, Julian Alaphilippe, Quentin Pacher, Toms Skujins, Michael Gogl and Dan Martin. In the remaining three stages, stage 19 and 21 will offer 1 KOM point each at a cat. 4 climb while stage 20 features the cat. 1 Planche des belles filles. The last 5.9km of the race, from Plancher-les-Mines to the top, will be timed to determine the KOM and award 10 points to the fastest up the hill.
The early break of the day is huge, with 32 riders, including Sam Bennett, who took the win at the sprint point. As they climbed the cormet de Roselend, the group was 19. Eventually we would have five at the front: Hirschi, Carapaz, Bilbao, Edet, and Kwiatkowski. They were followed by multiple chase groups. The peloton was five minutes back with eighty six kilometers to go.
🇫🇷 @NicoEdet is dropped from the leading group, here are the 4 remaining riders:
Ils sont plus que 4 en tête de course puisque 🇫🇷 @NicoEdet vient d'être distancé :

🇨🇭 @MarcHirschi
🇪🇨 @RichardCarapazM
🇵🇱 @kwiato
🇪🇸 @PelloBilbao1990 #TDF2020
— Tour de France™ (@LeTour) September 17, 2020
Carapaz would surge ahead on the downhill, followed by Hischi who would crash, but be back up riding quickly. 
After the col de Saisies, the provisional KOM standings were: 1. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), 66 2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma), 63 3. Miguel Ángel López (Astana Pro Team), 51 4. Marc Hirschi (Team Sunweb), 48 5. Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers), 44.
🇪🇨 @RichardCarapazM is the first at the summit and takes the 10 🔴⚪ points!
🇪🇨 Richard Carapaz passe le Col des Aravis en tête et marque 10 points.🔴⚪#TDF2020 #TDFunited
— Tour de France™ (@LeTour) September 17, 2020
2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma), 63
3. Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers), 54
4. Marc Hirschi (Team Sunweb), 52
5. Miguel Ángel López (Astana Pro Team), 51
Next up:  
Behind, the pace picked up in the yellow jersey group with Poels and Landa on the attack. Up front, the trio became a duo as Bilbao dropped. In trouble behind, Uran in the sixth to start the day and then Yates, who was in fifth.
With thirty kilometers to go, Landa had about thirty seconds.
Left in the yellow jersey group: Primoz Roglic, Tom Dumoulin, Sepp Kuss, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), Enric Mas (Movistar Team), Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo), Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), Miguel Ángel López (Astana Pro Team).
At the top of the climb, Carapaz with maximum kom points, putting him in the virtual polka dot jersey.
Gravel! It was fun to see it.
Attacks from the yellow jersey group, but Kuss and Roglic had been controlling them.
On the gravel, a front wheel puncture for Porte. There was not a neutral service car nearby and he was out of teammates, so he would continue to ride, slowly and awkwardly. Roglic, meanwhile, looked comfortable. Today's Le Tour trivia: The main historical fact about La Roche-sur-Foron, the hosting town of today's stage finish, dates back to 1885 and precisely to the day when it became the first town in Europe to install public electricity lights. On December 16, 1885, Pierre Giffard, himself a great promoter of cycling, wrote in Le Figaro how astonishing feat the small town had achieved: “This is not Paris or London or Berlin or Moscow or nothing similar. It’s a very small Savoy city, ten leagues from the Mont Blanc, it’s not an even the chief town of an arrondissement, just a canton chef-lieu called La Roche. Do you know La Roche? La Roche-sur-Foron in Haute-Savoie? No? Well, this town that I’m proud to describe as a city of lights, has just decided, the first of its kind in Europe, to light its streets, squares, monuments and houses with electricity.” Twenty public chandeliers and 600 Edison bulbs lit the houses of the little market town which was already bigger than its shade.

Twenty kilometers to go:  Carapaz and Kwiatkowski had a 1'45'' lead over Bilbao. Kuss, Roglic, Mas, Pogacar, Lopez and Landa with Richie Porte 25 seconds behind them. 
Twelve kilometers to go: Carapaz and Kwiatkowski were in the lead. Hirschi was at 3'40'', the yellow jersey group at 4'30'', Richie Porte at 4'45'', with company.
Porte would make it back with Dumoulin for company as they caught Hirschi.
As they near the finish, I wanted a Kwiatkowski win. They had enough of a lead to celebrate on the way in, finishing arm in arm.

Grabbing the remaining bonus points on the line Wout Van Aert.

The GC:

The wine: Belluard Les Alpes
From the importer, Selection MassaleAyze is only about 30 miles from Mont Blanc, but the Belluard vineyards are planted relatively lower to allow ripening.  Dom has vineyards planted from 300 to 450 meters above sea level.  Make no mistake, these are mountain wines.  But they are not planted next to ski slopes.  All are farmed biodynamically and were planted by selection massale.  The vine ages vary from ten to sixty yearls old.  Domaine Belluard has about half of the Gringet planted in the world.
Food: Tomme de Savoie tells me that:
Tomme de Savoie is often made with skim milk after the cream has been used to make butter. This is why Tommes are traditionally low in fat content (20-40 %). There are many varieties of Tommes, and they are often named after the village where they are produced. Tommes made in winter are from the milk of cows that are fed hay, very different from the Tommes made with the summer milk from cows that gaze in the high mountain pastures. The maturing process often takes several months, which gives the cheese a thick rind with a rustic appearance. It is grey in colour with patches of yellow or red moulding. The taste is soft and fruity, and occasionally one can detect a subtle flavour of grass. The pâte is pale yellow, nearly white and has small holes. It sticks to the palate and has odours of cave.
Coming back to the trio in front, Edet. At the bottom of the Aravis climb, they had 45 seconds over Hirschi and 6:45 over the peloton. As they climbed, Edet would once again drop.
KOM standings at the top of Aravis:
1. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), 66

The wine: Belluard Les Alpes 2013

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Wine and Food of Le Tour 2020 Stage 17

Where are we? Riding from Grenoble to Meribel.
From the race director: Only a great champion will be able to win at the Col de la Loze! The stage profile invites the favourites of the Tour to be audacious. They don’t yet know the road that will take them on that day to the Col de la Madeleine and have no idea of what to expect once in the resort of Méribel. They’ll still have an extra 7 irregular kilometres to climb with several passages at over 20%.

Grenoble specialties:  chestnut, gratin dauphinois, chicken with crawfish, Murson (cumin sausage) , pingouin (pastry), Chartreuse (liquor)
Merible specialties:fondues, raclettes and tartiflettes, crozets (pasta), diots (sausage), pormoniers (pork and vegetable sausage), cheese (Beaufort, Goat’s Tomme of les Allues), bluberry tart, Génépi. L’Ekrin 1* in the Michelin Guide, run by chef Laurent Azouley.

The stage: Stage 17! One that viewers, if not riders had been looking forward to since the route was announced. 
Before the day would even start, word the Barnal would not start the stage. From LeTour: 
“This is obviously not how I wanted my Tour de France to end, but I agree that it is the right decision for me in the circumstances", the Colombian stated. "I have the greatest respect for this race and I am already looking forward to coming back in the years ahead.”
Also of note, a not very good weather forecast for the final climb.

Our break of the day would have some familiar faces: Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Richard Carapaz (Ineos), Gorka Izagirre (Astana), Lennard Kämna (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation).
With about eighty kilometers to go, their gap was around six minutes. 
The first big climb:
In the main peloton, Quintana dropped quickly. Many would soon join him including Rolland and Pinot. Dropped from the break: Kämna. Their gap was dropping quickly.
As they climbed, the yellow jersey group was already down to 33. They were 3:35 behind the leaders.
Abandonment: Nieve.
Three kilometers still to climb and the gap to the four up front was down to two minutes.
Left in the yellow jersey group: Primoz Roglic, Tom Dumoulin, George Bennett, Robert Gesink, Sepp Kuss, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), Mikel Landa, Pello Bilbao, Damiano Caruso, Wout Poels (Bahrain-McLaren), Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ), Rigoberto Urán, Hugh Carthy (EF Education First), Warren Barguil (Arkéa-Samsic), Enric Mas, Alejandro Valverde, Nelson Oliveira, Carlos Verona (Movistar Team), Richie Porte, Kenny Elissonde (Trek-Segafredo), Tadej Pogačar, David de la Cruz, Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates), Miguel Ángel López, Omar Fraile (Astana Pro Team), Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), and Guillaume Martin (Cofidis).
At the top of the climb, the gap was down to 1:15 and moving into the virtual kom lead was Pogacar.
On the downhill, Martin dropped from the lead group, as we got to enjoy Alaphilippe descending.
At the bottom of the descent, with 35 kilometers go to, their gap was back over 2:30. 
Up ahead,  the third highest finish location of a Tour de France stage after the Galibier (2645m) in 2011 (winner: Andy Schleck) and the Granon (2413m) in 1986 (winner: Eduardo Chozas).
Twenty five kilometers to go and the gap was 2:15. Twenty kilometers to go and it was under two minutes. Fifteen kilometers to go and 1:45. 
Dropping from the front, Alaphilippe. He would be quickly caught by the yellow jersey group. There were about twenty riders left in that group. 
Nine kilometers to go and Carapaz was solo out front with only about twenty seconds.
Not what he wanted but nice anyway as Le Tour announced that : Julian Alaphilippe was the most aggressive rider of the day.
Five kilometers to go and Carapaz had pushed his lead to 45 seconds. Landa and Uran dropped from the yellow jersey group. That group has gotten very small, very fast. Five would catch Carapaz: Porte, Lopez, Roglic, Kuss and Pogacar.
Jumping from the group, Lopez and Kuss. Next out Roglic and Pogacar through the surprisingly large crowds. Pogacar visibly struggling with the gradient and the crowds but he would close in to Roglic. 
Ahead, Lopez would hold on for the stage win.

And the GC:

The wineDominique Lucas 2012 Terroir du Lman
Shopping from my wine rack again. From Selection Massale:  Lucas is on Lake Leman, right across from Switzerland, on a gentle slope facing the lake, in the small village of Marcorens.
Because he is within the Crepy AOC, he wanted to focus on Chasselas, the traditional grape grown there, even though he decided from day one not to be part of the AOC that he thinks produces mostly mediocre wines.

Lucas hails from a family of vignerons based in Burgundy and he went to school to study the family trade, and never had any other projects in life other than making wine. One thing he didn't want to do though, was to work in Burgundy so he found some hectares in Haute-Savoie, on that beautiful slope (although now he makes a few cuvees from his family’s holdings in Burgundy as well).

Being very curious about biodynamics, and vinification in general, he quickly meet one of the very few other serious winemaker in the region Dominique Belluard.
The two start experimenting with different vessels for vinifications, and the both of them fell in love with the results that cement eggs give them. While Belluard manages the balance of freshness and texture in his wine by blending stainless steel and concrete egg vinification, Lucas works mostly with the ovoids, some old wood, and a variety of amphorae.
Today's wine is his Chasselas from a parcel he planted on "Moraine Glaciaire" soil ( the lake that gets plenty of cool nights.

The food: Food: Beaufort Cheese tells me that: Beaufort has been celebrated since the Roman era. It takes about 500 litres (130 gallons) of milk to make a 40-45 kg  wheel of Beaufort. The cheese is made from the milk given by the mahogany-coloured Beaufort cows, called the Tarines or Tarentaises. This ancient mountain breed originally came from the Indo-Asian continent. Beaufort cheeses come in three versions, Beaufort, Beaufort d'été (summer Beaufort),and Beaufort d'Alpage which is made in the mountain chalets and is the most tasty. Ripening takes at least four months in humid (92%) cellars with the temperature below 15° . The cheeses are constantly wiped and rubbed with brine. Young cheeses have a mild fruity, sweet taste then the taste become stronger and complex. The pate of the winter cheese is white, whereas the summer cheeses are a pale yellow, due to the cows munching on the alpine flowers.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Wine and food of Le Tour 2020 Stage 16

From the race director: Following a well-deserved rest day in the Isère department, the area of La Chartreuse might as well inspire escape artists but not everyone will be allowed to break away ahead of the col de Porte. Richie Porte said he’d love to but he’s too high on GC and showed his form on the up as he came third atop the Grand Colombier on Sunday. Jumbo-Visma wouldn’t let him go so far away (66.5km) from the finish at Villard-de-Lans. The mountains of the Vercors, well known for the battles of the Resistance during WW2, also offer the ingredients of a tricky stage...

Specialties start: miron (chocolate), wines of Comtés Rhodaniens and IGP Isère, emmental.
Specialities finish:bleu du Vercors-Sassenage (cheese), Villard-de-Lans cows, barraquand (horse), grey hen of Vercors, ravioles, gratin dauphinois, picodon (cheese), vercoutine (raclette with bleu du Vercors), beer of Vercors, dairy cooperative.

The stage: Second rest day done, off they go again.
The early break: Andrey Amador, Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers), Lennard Kämna, Daniel Oss (Bora-Hansgrohe), Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Sébastien Reichenbach (Groupama-FDJ), Alberto Bettiol (EF Education First), Winner Anacona, Warren Barguil (Arkéa-Samsic), Imanol Erviti, Carlos Verona (Movistar Team), Matteo Trentin (CCC Team), Chris Juul Jensen (Mitchelton-Scott), Nicholas Roche (Team Sunweb), and Quentin Pacher (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept).
At the intermediate sprint, Trentin would take maximum points.
In between the break and the main peloton, there were several chasers.
That group would swell and with 73 kilomters to go there was 23 as Neilson Powless (EF), Pavel Sivakov (Ineos-Grenadier), Romain Sicard (Total Direct Energie), Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-Scott) and Simon Geschke (CCC)  rejoined them. Their gap was 10:25.

Some excitement in the king of the mountain standings as Rolland has closed in. 
1. Benoît Cosnefroy (Ag2r La Mondiale), 36
2. Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept), 36
3. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), 34
4. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma), 33
5. Nans Peters (Ag2r La Mondiale), 32
6. Marc Hirschi (Team Sunweb), 31
7. Jesús Herrada (Cofidis), 25
8. Michael Gogl (NTT Pro Cycling), 24
9. Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo), 24
10. Quentin Pacher (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept), 22

Today's birthday:
Dropping from the main group, Bernal, Adam Blythe suggested that perhaps he was intentionally losing time in hopes of getting in a break tomorrow.
Twenty eight kilometers to go and Pacher was solo in the lead chased by Amador. Pacher had about forty seconds over the reduced breakaway group. 
Soon there were four: Carapaz, Reichenbach, Kämna and Alaphilippe, who would catch Pacher. Last year, I would have had confidence in Alaphilippe. This year, it was much more of a question. They would drop Pacher.
They would start to attack each other with Carapaz starting things off. Dropped, Alaphilippe with one kilometer to the top.
At the top, Lennard Kämna took 10 KOM points, Carapaz was second, at 10 seconds, Reichenbach at thirty, Alaphilippe, at forty five.
Ten kilometers to go and Kämna had about 45 seconds over Carapaz.
Three kilometers to go and it was over a minute. 
He would hold on!

As the yellow jersey group neared the finish, another attack from Pogacar. It would be controlled, though many dropped from the group. It was fun to see the fight to the finish, but none of the main contenders could get gaps.

Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma70:06:47
2Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates0:00:40
3Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Pro Cycling0:01:34
4Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Astana Pro Team0:01:45
5Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott0:02:03
6Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo0:02:13
7Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain McLaren0:02:16
8Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team0:03:15
9Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma0:05:19
10Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic0:05:43
On to tomorrow!

The wine: 
Domaine Dupasquier Rousette de Savoie Altesse
As I mentioned earlier, shopping for this year's wines was a bit unusual. So this one from the bottom of my wine rack. 

Let's learn about the grape. Jancis Robinson tells me that it is another name for Savoie's Roussette. And Rousette, well, she says: Fine Savoie speciality producing lively, crisp but scented wines. Roussette de Savoie has its own appellation in four communes, most notably Frangy. If followed by the name of a commune on the label the wine will be made exclusively of Roussette; if not, Chardonnay may constitute up to 50% of the wine.

The Food: Fondue! Our recipe has not changed from our Cooking from the Books days. 
8 oz. grated cheese
1 cup white wine
As much nutmeg as K felt like grating
1 teaspoon corn starch

Heat wine over a medium-high heat until it begins to foam but does not boil. Add cheese gradually, stirring all the while. Grate in nutmeg and continue to stir until the mixture begins to thicken slightly. Add cornstarch and stir until the mixture thickens enough to coat your dipping items. Pour into a fondue pot and place over sterno to keep warm.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Wine and Food of Le Tour 2020 Stage 15

Where are we? Heading from Lyon to Grand Colombier. 

The race director says: "At last” might say the relieved enthusiasts of what is also known as the “Bugey pyramid” who had been requiring a summit finish there for quite some time. And it’ll almost be an entire climb of the Grand Colombier that will be organised for this 15th stage with indeed three of the four access roads covered. The final climb of the mountain, the one where it won’t be possible to hide will start in Culoz. The battle promises to be intense on the eve of the second rest day!

Grand Colombier specialties:  Diots au marc du Bugey (sausage), truffle of Bugey, salé (walnut and onion tart). Cheese (Tome de Belley, Pavé d’Affinois, Comté in Arvière-en-Valromey). Sugar tart. Wines of Bugey (AOC), Kario distillery plant liquours, wines of Seyssel AOP (Altesse « Roussette » and Molette), AOP Roussette de Savoie cru Frangy.

The stage: Our breakaway of the day:
Behind them, at the intermediate sprint point, Bennett took maximum points from the field. Updated standings and a comment from LeTour:
1. Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick Step), 269
2. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), 224
3. Matteo Trentin (CCC Team), 189
4. Bryan Coquard (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept), 166
5. Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal), 158
6. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), 131
7. Michael Morkov (Deceuninck-Quick Step), 112
8. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step), 108
9. Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates), 100
Shall Sam Bennett complete stage 15 within the time cut, he'll retain the green jersey at Grand Colombier.

Which was a reminder to me that time cuts are something we should think about today. Essentially, the riders must finish within a certain percentage of the winning rider to be allowed to stay in the race. It most frequently is an issue for sprinters on mountain stages or for injured riders trying to just make it through the day.
One hundred kilometers to go and the break had four minutes.
Meanwhile, I stumbled on this and laughed:
As they started the first big climb, riders were quickly dropped from the peloton. It would be a long day for the sprinters and they would form a grupetto or autobus and just try to make it in within the time cut. Among the riders in that group were Coquard, Ewan, Alaphilippe, Viviani, Stuyven, and Bennett.
At the front, now a trio in the lead: Pierre Rolland, Jesus Herrada, and Simon Geschke.
Nice field art:
Making it a quartet at the front, Gogl. On the downhill, Gogl would go solo. Rolland would chase and catch Gogl. Behind in the the yellow jersey group, Pinot was dropped.

Provisional KOM standings after col de la Biche:

1. Benoît Cosnefroy (Ag2r La Mondiale), 36 points

2. Nans Peters (Ag2r La Mondiale), 31

3. Marc Hirschi (Team Sunweb), 31

4. Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept), 26

5. Jesús Herrada (Cofidis), 25

6. Michael Gogl (NTT Pro Cycling), 24

7. Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo), 24

8. Quentin Pacher (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept), 21

9. Simon Geschke (CCC Team), 18

10. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma), 18

To take the lead of the KOM, Pierre Rolland would need to make the top 4 at Grand Colombier, Jesus Herrada the top 3 and Michael Gogl the top 2. If Primoz Roglic were to win the stage, he could also be in the polka dot jersey.

Thirty kilometers to go and Gogl and Rolland were at the front. Not much further and Herrada would be caught by the pack, leaving just the duo out front. 

Next up:

Gogl and Rolland had a two minute lead with 20 kilometers to go. The ascent to Grand Colombier was the last 17 kilometers of the stage. 
As they neared the climb, the main peloton was surprisingly large, 100 or so riders.
Fifteen kilometers and it was 1:15. Rolland would push forward solo.
Gogl would be caught and passed by the peloton.
Struggling on the back of the GC group: Quintana and Bernal with thirteen kilometers to go. At the front, Rolland caught. 
With twelve kilometers to go, the lead group was down to twenty three riders: Primoz Roglic, George Bennett, Tom Dumoulin, Sepp Kuss, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), Sébastien Reichenbach (Groupama-FDJ), Mikel Landa, Pello Bilbao, Damiano Caruso (Bahrain-McLaren), Rigoberto Urán, Daniel Martínez (EF Education First), Enric Mas, Alejandro Valverde, Carlos Verona (Movistar Team), Richie Porte, Kenny Elissonde (Trek-Segafredo), Jan Hirt (CCC Team), Tadej Pogačar, David de la Cruz (UAE Team Emirates), Miguel Ángel López, Harold Tejada (Astana Pro Team), Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) and Guillaume Martin (Cofidis).
Amazing riding from the Jumbo-Visma team.
Eleven kilometers to go and Bernal was already a minute back.
Finally, Wout van Aert pulled off. Truly remarkable ride from him today.
With eight kilometers to go, our lead group: Primoz Roglic, George Bennett, Tom Dumoulin, Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma), Mikel Landa, Pello Bilbao, Damiano Caruso (Bahrain-McLaren), Rigoberto Urán (EF Education First), Enric Mas, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team), Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo), Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), Miguel Ángel López, Harold Tejada (Astana Pro Team) and Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott).

Attack from Adam Yates. He would be reeled back.
As they climb, I find myself not missing the running, screaming, costumed fans at all.
Five kilometers to go and twelve riders left in that group. Three kilometers to go and Bernal was four minutes behind.
Roglic would jump and soon have company. Pogacar with the stage win. And for the GC:
The wine: Arbois D.D., Bénédicte et Stéphane Tissot - 2018
From Copake Wine Works
From Stéphane Tissot's Biodynamic vineyard in Arbois, named for Stéphane's father, Andre "DD" Tissot. This is a blend of Trousseau, Poulsard, and Pinot Noir co-fermented in 2000L foudres. 

The food: Fromager d'Affinois 
From SFGate: This Brie-like cow's milk cheese is made by a company that, 20 years ago, pioneered the use of ultrafiltration in cheesemaking. Ultrafiltration removes water from the pasteurized milk before cheesemaking, concentrating all the other components.
Thanks to ultrafiltration, every step of the cheesemaking process -- coagulation, unmolding, maturing -- can happen faster. A classic Brie takes about eight weeks to make; Fromager d'Affinois is ready in two weeks. 

I say: Creamy, rich and very tasty.