Monday, July 2, 2012

TdF Stage 2: More Belgium and Cav!

From LeTour: The view of jean-françois pescheux "This pancake flat stage is tailored to pure sprinters. If Cavendish has missed out on a win the day before, this is the perfect place to make amends. This will be the third day straight that the Tour de France stays in Belgium. The stage will start from Visé, which is hosting the Tour for the first time. The bunch will visit the citadel of Namur halfway through the stage (km 82). We are sticking to tradition."

Ah, a sprint stage. Time to find out whether or not Mark Cavendish's Olympic prep and weight loss has really slowed him down or not.  Apparently, he's lost 4 kg/ 9 lb as he prepares for the Olympics in London later this summer so we'll see how that has affected his speed. I woke to this tweet:
MarkCavendish 1:14am via Twitter for iPad
Good morning people! 207km flat today. Should be the 1st bunch sprint of the Tour. Let's see what we can do...

Meanwhile a doomed break and some time to read about the stage on LeTour. My favorite bit of trivia for the day: The economy of Tournai, the finishing town is apparently focused on trade, tourism, and biscuits. In a related note, I am now craving a biscuit.
At the intermediate sprint point we have perhaps a preview of the stage finish or just a flashback to years past with Goss - Renshaw - Cav.

At the end, relief:
inrng 8:35am via Web
Mark Cavendish (Team Sky)wins Stage 2 of the Tour de France

Or in the words of his girlfriend:

Stage: Mark Cavenidsh
Yellow: Fabian Cancellara

Wine: More Belgium, more beer:  
I confess, I bought this beer because I liked the label. Plus, the name. Google tells me that this is a Belgian top-fermented reddish-brown ale, a blend of 8 and 18 months old beers following the careful maturation in oak casks.
From the importer:
A traditional Flemish red ale. This refreshing ale is matured in oak casks; smooth with a rich texture and interplay of passion fruit, and chocolate, and a long, dry and acidic finish. After the first and secondary fermentation, the beer goes for maturation into the oak barrels for 18 months. The final product is a blend of younger 8 months old beer with 18 months old beer. The average age of the Duchesse de Bourgogne before being bottled is 12 months.

I say: Much less sour than the Rodenbach. Also, browner. I had this with a burger made from beef from my favorite: 4505Meats and it was an excellent pairing.  Fuller, richer and nuttier than the Rodenbach as well, and although goggle suggests that I should have found sour apples, I would say more balsamic and cherry.

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