Le Mans - Châteauroux 215kmWell, that was a lot more interesting than was expected.
In what was very expected, my favorite sprinter Mark Cavendish won his second stage today in the town, where he celebrated his first ever stage win. Yellow Jersey Thor Hushovd, successfully defended his race lead for another day continuing his unbroken string of top-ten finishes in this year's tour.
Now for the unexpected as once again, several pre-race favorites, or at least favorites for a top ten finish were caught in a large crash with 30 km to go. Victims included Chris Horner, Levi Leipheimer, Ryder Hesjedal who finished 3 minutes behind the main field. The biggest victim of the crash was Bradley Wiggins of Team Sky, who was forced to abandon with a suspected broken collarbone. As expected, Tom Boonen also abandoned today due to his injuries in an earlier crash.
And tomorrow, the mountains begin.
Stage Win: Mark Cavendish (and really, if you are not following him on twitter, you should be: @markcavendish)
Wine: Domaine Belliviere Rouge-Gorge Pineau d'Aunis 08
From their website: Le Rouge Gorge (robin) is a homage to this small bird which appears in spring.
APPELLATION:Red Coteaux du Loir.
GRAPE VARIETY: Pineau d’Aunis minimum 97%, 3 % maximum of black Gamay with white juice. 100% Pineau d’Aunis since 2004, vines aged 25 to 45 years.
SOIL (TERROIR): Clayey and siliceous clay with flint on tuffeau (limestone). The soils with strong clays are favourable for reds.
VITICULTURE: Ground works : ploughing, earthing-up and hoeing. No weed killers. Maximum yields 25 hl/ha. Manual harvest.
VINIFICATION:One month in vat for alcoholic fermentation, breaking the cap, systematic blending of free run wine with press wine, natural malolactic fermentation in recent barrels. Maturing one year to 18 months.