Wednesday, July 11, 2012

TdF Stage 10: Mâcon to Bellegarde sur Valserine

Break away and come together

"Back to the mountains. On paper, the Grand Colombier is a monster. In my opinion, it is the toughest mountain in France, with sections at 12%. Nevertheless, its location 43 km from the finish changes the story altogether. Rather than a single devastating attack, I see a group of five or six strong riders break away and then come together before the finish. This is a classical but always exciting scenario, especially if one of the big names is missing from the breakaway. Look out just before the riders reach Bellegarde-sur-Valserine: we found a small bump which could very well make things easier for the finish line judge..."

As expected, a breakaway. And with all sorts of fun names like Voigt and Zabriskie and Sagan and more. 25 or so more. Interesting to see that ten of them have previously won a stage at the Tour de France: Burghardt, Popovych, Voigt, Sagan, Millar, Zabriskie, Casar, Sanchez, Kroon, and Gerrans. With With 60km to go, the gap was at 6:26 and many of the break riders were falling back. Approaching the top of the Colombier, Voeckler, Sanchez, Scarponi and Devenyns had dropped the other leaders. Voeckler sprinted for the KoM points and crosses the Grand Colombier first.
And as the peloton went over the top:
UCI_Overlord 7:20am via Web
Here goes Nibali. This man is the best descender in the peloton, look for VDB and Nibali to work together when he bridges.
inrng 7:24am via Web
Speeds reaching 100km/h downhill on these narrow roads through woodland

And a preview of my wine of the day:
But Nibali would be caught. Ahead, they continued on. But, then, Jens!  And there was excitement in the cycling universe. But at the end ,Thomas Voeckler took the victory, answering the attacks on the closing climb of the tenth stage. Michele Scarponi took second, with Jens! third and Luis Leon Sanchez fourth.

Stage: Thomas Voeckler
1 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 43:59:02  
2 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:01:53  
3 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:02:07  
4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:02:23  
5 Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha Team 0:03:02  
6 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack-Nissan 0:03:19  
7 Maxime Monfort (Bel) RadioShack-Nissan 0:04:23  
8 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team 0:04:48  
9 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale 0:05:29  
10 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:05:31  

Wine:  Bugey Cerdon La Cueille Bottex

From the importer:
Bugey is one of the best-kept secrets of France. As a geographical crossroads between the Savoie, the Jura, Burgundy, and the Rhône, it is one of the few regions where one can see both palm trees and snow within eyeshot. It is adjacent to the Savoie on its western side, located in between Lyon, Grenoble, and Geneva. The wines of Bugey were first cultivated here by the Romans and were later resuscitated by the medieval monks. Still, the region had to wait until 2009 before receiving its own A.O.C. status. Today, Cerdon is considered one of three crus within the appellation of Bugey, and the only one whose entire production consists of sparkling wine.

In La Cueille, one of seven high-altitude hamlets surrounding the historic medieval town of Ponsin, Patrick and Catherine Bottex are farming the limestone slopes above the Ain River. They have been working five hectares of land since 1991 and produce only a small quantity of their beautiful, intriguing sparkling wine. As a former part of the Duchy of Burgundy, it stands to reason that several Burgundian grape varietals have found a home here—not the least of which is Gamay. The Bottex’s blend consists of ninety percent Gamay and ten percent of the native Poulsard. They bottle this low-alcohol wine using the méthode ancestrale, a rare technique that experts believe predates the méthode champenoise. The wine first goes through a primary fermentation in cuve, but is then bottled before all of the residual sugar has converted to alcohol. After going through a secondary fermentation in the bottle for at least two months, the wine is ready—Champagne’s dosage is not permitted! The resulting wine is delightfully refreshing with bright fruit, a beautiful rosé hue, and a touch of sweetness.

Kermit had never heard of Bugey until Marcel Lapierre uncorked a beauty at one of his after-tasting parties. His best memory of drinking it, however, was from an ice chest at a hamburger barbecue on a beach in Hawaii. From Bugey to Waimanolo!


Wine Blend Vine Age Soil Type Vineyard Area*
Vin du Bugey-Cerdon “La Cueille”
90% Gamay, 10% Poulsard Planted between 1960 and 2010 Clay, Limestone 5.66 ha


• Grapes are harvested by hand

• Fermentation is natural

• The wine is bottled half-way through fermentation

• After approximately 2 months, fermentation has stopped

• The wine is then re-corked and is ready to drink

I say: Well this is fun. Katie said as I poured it "Is that a strawberry soda?" No, K, but it sure looks like it could be one. Lots of berries in this one with balanced sweetness. This wine makes me want to buy a case and throw a party in my garden.

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