Saturday, July 2, 2011

Tour de France 2011-Stage 1

So, I'm having trouble feeling inspired for this year's wines of the Tour de France. Instead, I'm very tempted to simply enjoy a July month of Riesling. I may even end up with a mix of the two. But for today, stage 1: Passage du Gois - Mont des Alouettes.

And indeed, it was an interesting stage. Although the finish was as many expected with Philippe Gilbert powering to an easy victory, the road held a few surprises along the way, including two field splitting crashes. Most importantly was one that came with about 8.5 kilometers remaining. Maxim Iglinskiy clipped a spectator standing a bit too close to the action and went down heavily. Since he was close to the front, the domino effect took a terrible toll, wiping out all the riders closest to him. The resulting crash formed a highly effective roadblock with only around thirty riders got through. One who did not get through was defending champion and pre-race favorite Alberto Contador was held up and ended up conceding one minute, fourteen seconds to his main rivals including Cadel Evans and Andy Schleck. 
A second crash inside of 3 kilometers held up many raiders, but due to the "inside 3 km rule," they were given the same time as second place finisher Cadel Evans. Will the time Contador lost be meaningful? We will all have to wait and see. Next up, tomorrow, the much-beloved team time trial. 

Stage win: Philippe Gilbert

Wine of the day: NV Château de l'Aulée  12.5% abv $13.00

Why? I usually start the race off with champagne. But, today's stage rode through the Vendee and it forms part of the western Loire Valley region, making a Cremant an easy choice. 

As for the rest of the Tour, I'll paste the schedule below. Wine suggestions more than welcome.


Saturday 2 July
Passage du Gois La Barre de Monts > Mont des Alouettes Les Herbiers
Vendée (Loire)

Sunday 3
Les Essarts > Les Essarts

Monday 4
Olonne sur Mer > Redon

Tuesday 5
Lorient > Mûr-de-Bretagne

Wednesday 6
Carhaix > Cap Fréhel

Thursday 7
Dinan > Lisieux

Friday 8
Le Mans > Châteauroux
Indre (Reuilly-Valencay)

Saturday 9
Aigurande > Super-Besse Sancy
Auvergne (Loire)

Sunday 10
Issoire > Saint-Flour
Massif Central

Monday 11
Rest day

Tuesday 12
Aurillac > Carmaux
Tarn, Midi-Pyrénées

Wednesday 13
Blaye-les-Mines > Lavaur

Thursday 14
Cugnaux > Luz-Ardiden

Friday 15
Pau > Lourdes

Saturday 16
Saint-Gaudens > Plateau de Beille

Sunday 17
Limoux > Montpellier

Monday 18
Rest day

Tuesday 19
Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux > Gap
Hautes Alpes

Wednesday 20
Gap > Pinerolo

Thursday 21
Pinerolo > Galibier - Serre Chevalier

Friday 22
Modane Valfréjus > Alpe-d’Huez

Saturday 23
Grenoble > Grenoble

Sunday 24
Créteil > Paris Champs-Élysées

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