Today the cyclists journeyed through Calabria. The departure town of Sapri is a popular seaside resort on the Gulf of Policastro. The race then traveled 217 mainly flat kilometers along the coast to Tropea with a short and steep climb at the very end. Tropea, the internet tells me, is perched on a cliff and is called the “Pearl of the Tyrrhenian Sea.”
The stage went much like predicted: a break gained a lot of time and then lost it. The eventual winner, Oscar Gatto, made his move on the climb at the end. The biggest surprise today was second place finisher and pre-race-favorite Alberto Contador, who apparently decided that today was a fine day to send his rivals a message. The gap of 7 seconds to the field, plus his time bonus, means he is now only 13 seconds behind the maglia rosa, and could well be in pink when tomorrow's race is over
I must admit that I was hoping for a Cavendish victory today. Instead, I quote @Mark_Renshaw "The #Giro isn't kind to the sprinters this year. Always uphill or stupid crazy finishes..."
Maglia Rosa:Pieter Weening
Stage winner: Oscar Gatto
Wine: Tenuta del Conte "Ciró" Rosso 08 $15.00 13.5% abv
They say: The vineyards of Tenuta del Conte overlook the Ionian Sea, bringing to mind the region’s ancient past, so it is no surprise that the Gaglioppo grape they cultivate most likely arrived in Calabria with the first Greek settlers. It has proven to be uniquely suited to the local climate, which is characterized by very hot days and cool nights, a factor that helps maintain acidity in the wines. Francesco Parilla, the estate's winemaker, is committed to Calabria’s traditions. He cultivates only native varieties and farms the land without chemicals. The grapes are meticulously picked by hand, and vinification takes place in stainless steel tanks to preserve the freshness and clarity of the wines. Parilla uses indigenous yeast and minimal sulfur.
I say: Smooth, silky even, red fruits on the nose. Easy to drink and food friendly.