Friday, July 20, 2012

TdF Stage 18: Blagnac to Brive-la-Gaillarde & Flotis Elles

Spinning the legs:

"Blagnac-Brive-la-Gaillarde: a 222.5 km hop to bring us a little closer to Paris and give leaders the chance to spin their legs before the Bonneval-Chartres time trial. This is obviously a golden opportunity for sprinters to shine again. I have already said that this Tour is not especially sprinter-friendly, since we have always chucked in one or two climbs to scatter the bunch. In fact, everything points to intermediate sprints being more important for the green jersey than the stage finishes. All in all, a race within the race, very strategic and exciting. There are 65 points up for grabs today!"

There have been a lot of crazy fans along the race route this year. There are every year, of course, the crazy running men, the costumed and the flag wavers, but they seem to have taken things up a notch this race. Yesterday Mark Cavendish crashed after being caught up in a spectators flag. Today, from twitter, what looked like a Newfoundland got involved:
TeamSky 5:14am via Web
Not the kind of thing you want to see. A dog has wandered into the peloton and brought down around 10 riders. Gilbert and Menchov among them

LeTour says "The BMC team manager recently offered some news on Philippe Gilbert who was involved in an accident with a dog at the 120km mark of today’s stage. “His hand has been injured a little as well as his elbow and knee,” said John Lelangue. “The dog was stronger than him – and it won that bout – but the important thing is that he could return to his place in the peloton."

 The break of the day: Yaroslav Popovych, David Millar, Julien Fouchard,Edvald Boasson Hagen, Adam Hansen, Jelle Vanendert, Kris Boeckmans , Luca Paolini, Jeremy Roy, Rui Costa, Karsten Kroon, Nick Nuyens, Alexandre Vinokourov, Michael Albasini and Patrick Gretsch.With about 64 kilometers remaining they were 2'40" ahead of the peloton. But, it looked like the peloton wanted a sprint finish today as numerous teams came to the front to chase. By 50 km to go, The 16 had a lead of just 1'40".
TeamSky 6:43am via Web
The gap has dipped below one minute now with 28km to go. It has been a huge battle throughout the stage but it looks tough now #TDF12

And this, also from twitter:
UCI_Overlord UCI_Overlord: Things longer than Froome's wait for Wiggins at the TdF: pregnancy test results, Godot, meat curing, whiskey aging.... 

Meanwhile, one of my cats has attacked some eggplant.
And that was fun. Inside the final kilometre, Wiggins was ahead of Boasson Hagen who was starting the lead-out for Cavendish. From twitter:
Vaughters: Hats off to Wiggo. Leading out Cav in yellow. Respect.  
 Sagan was on the wheel of the world champion as they caught the six stage leaders. And Cavendish showed that he has just another level of speed.
From twitter:
_Gavia_ 7:17am via Echofon
Like, I don’t know who was in second because he wasn’t even in the camera frame?

Stage: Mark Cavendish
GC: Unchanged

1 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 78:28:02  
2 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:02:05  
3 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:02:41  
4 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team 0:05:53  
5 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:08:30  
6 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:09:57  
7 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack-Nissan 0:10:11  
8 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 0:10:17  
9 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana Pro Team 0:11:00  
10 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 0:11:46  

Violet is not impressed.
Wine:    Chateau Flotis 07 Elles
From the winery website:
An old Estate in Fronton which was taken over in 2004 by Cathy, Katya and Myriam, 3 associate winegrowers. This 28 hectare estate - which houses a half-buried wine warehouse and a traditional vat warehouse - is cultivated according to organic culture since 2009 in order to preserve the exceptional terroir and vines.
No montage or filtration occurs before bottling.
80% Négrette
10% Syrah
10% Cabernet Sauvignon

A wine to surprise you : lovely pronounced fresh fruits, cherries and spices on the rose. Well balanced wine : a feminine wine.

I say: Kind of funky and rustic.  Tanniny, earthy and kind of smokey. Not getting feminine at all. I want to like this one more than I did. 
I have on hand as well, another treat from Christy at Franklywines:
Plageols Mauzac Nature 2010  which would have been my wine except I had the Muscadelle from them earlier this week. Expect to hear more about it very soon.

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