Saturday, July 21, 2012

TdF Stage 19: Final Time Trial Bonneval to Chartres

Rather flattish terrain "The final round before the finish in Paris. What will come out of this 53.5 km time trial on rather flattish terrain, except the first part on the rolling hills of the Perche region? Personally, I expect gaps of two to three minutes between leaders. Three weeks into the race, 53.5 km are a long way to go in a time trial. This also holds true for the yellow jersey, who will probably come behind specialists such as Martin or Cancellara. Think of the Pauillac time trial in 2010, when Cancellara took the win on a similar course and Menchov, the freshest of all the leaders, propelled himself onto the final podium."

A Jens! joke to start the day. You are reading his blog, right?
BicyclingMag 5:34am via HootSuite
Jens Voigt is on course for his time trial on Stage 19 of the Tour de France. We hope the road will be OK. #TdF

Plus, Greg Henderson:
That was like expected. 53km into slight headwind. I would have more fun with a cheesegrater and a stick mag. Bring on the Champs-Èlysées.

And, Mark Cavendish:
53km TimeTrial today.. 53km! Alone! I didn't think I'd signed up to this when I turned professional!

And some reading on a few riders we will miss next year.

The course today is 53.5 km, which means just a bit more than an hour for the top riders. The rules of the day are simple: cover the course, on your own, as fast as you possibly can. The first 44 men start one minute apart. Then it's two minute gaps until the final 14, who are separated by three minutes. The folks at Podium Cafe headlined their live thread  "Coronation ride. Minor placings to be decided." Clearly, most expected either Wiggins, currently in yellow or Froome, his teammate in second, to take the stage. But would they? 
Meanwhile, on the Garmin bus, Dave Zabriskie and David Millar had a bet:
Challenged roomie @dzabriskie to a race-off in the TT tomorrow. Loser has to publicly proclaim inferiority to other in said discipline.
He turned off the light and put his headphones on. I'm taking that as a, 'IT'S ON!'
@millarmind and @dzabriskie are taking this battle rather seriously.

I am an inferior time triallist to @dzabriskie. Much inferior.

And at the end of the day it was Wiggins with a dominating win.  Fastest at all of the intermediate check points, Wiggins completed the course  1:16 ahead of his teammate Chris Froome, who consolidated his position in second place overall. Third place on the day went to Rabobank's Luis León Sánchez, who held the lead for a substantial part of the afternoon, and ended up 1:50 down on Wiggins. Of note as well, the good ride by the young American Tejay van Garderen. From twitter:

Tejay van Garderen passes Cadel Evans, and a new generation takes the lead.

Stage: Bradley Wiggins
  1. Wiggins
  2. Froome, at 3.21
  3. Vincenzo Nibali, Liquigas, at 6.19
  4. Jurgen Van Den Broeck, Lotto, at 10.15
  5. Van Garderen, at 11.04
  6. Haimar Zubeldia, RNT, at 15.43
  7. Cadel Evans, BMC, at 15.51
  8. Pierre Rolland, Europcar, at 16.31
  9. Janez Brajkovic, Astana, at 16.38
  10. Thibaut Pinot, FDJ, at 17.17

What is this wine doing on MY chair?
Wine: Francois Cazin Cour-Cheverny Cuvee Renaissance 2008

From Franklywines

 From the importer: Cheverny is one of the most recent new appellations in the Loire Valley (1991). The area, south of the Loire and abutting the marshy region of Sologne (the best hunting grounds in France), has produced wines since at least the 6th century. The soils consist of various combinations of clay, limestone and silica. Many varietals are planted: Pinot Noir, Gamay, Cabernet and Côt for red wines, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Chenin and Menu Pineau for the whites. By legislation, a Cheverny wine has to be a blend of varietals, and François Cazin’s white is 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Chardonnay. 

A.O.C Cour-Cheverny "Cuvée Renaissance"
Soil : siliceous clay on limestone
Grape : Romorantin
Vines : 80 years old
Yields : 40 hl/ha
Vinification : Fermented in stainless steel. Aged 12 months in barrel.  

I say: Another hit from Christy. Floral, honey, nuts, some quince and lemon but with plenty of mineral. I'd like to have a lot more of this one.


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