Wednesday, July 4, 2012

TdF Stage 4: Abbeville to Rouen
From LeTour:
Riders who regularly take part in the Tour of Picardy are familiar with the pitfalls that the region can hold in store for them. The experts of bordure formations may well take advantage of the wind that blows by the seaside during the whole first part of the stage, which will boasts very beautiful scenery. The favourite riders in the race will have to be extremely careful, as they know how hard it is to make up for lost time caused by their carelessness at the beginning of the Tour.

Abbeville - Rouen 214.5 km 
A sprint stage today. As usual cue the doomed break, today featuring Yukiya Arashiro,  David Moncoutie, and Anthony Delaplace. Interesting to see stats for the first hour of racing:
Distance travelled: 37.5km
Distance from finish: 177km
Average speed: 37.5km/h
Gap from leaders to peloton: 7:30

Screen shot found on Podium Cafe
Things continue along and with about 100km left, and the intermediate sprint roughly 25km away, the gap between the breakaway and the peloton is 6:15. Meanwhile, lots of gorgeous cliff top scenery and sites of historical interest. I've not been to Normandy and this stage makes me very much want to go. Much talk also of Benedictine and interior shots of a distillery. Clearly a sprint stage with little early drama on the road.

At the intermediate sprint point, Mark Cavendish took the win ahead of Matt Goss and Mark Renshaw, in another former teammates flashback. With 60 km to go, the breakaway lead was down to about 5 minutes and it was time for the peloton to pick up the pace, or miss catching them in time. And, hey, rain. Indeed they did speed up and with 40km left to go, the gap came down to under three-and-a-half minutes and at 25 km remaining it was under 2 minutes.
Comment of the day from twitter:
dwuori dwuori: Where does one get a job as @paulsherwen's chateau researcher?

 Why yes, it had been a long and uneventful stage. Until a big crash towards the end took out Mark Cavendish, among others. Luckily, it was within 3 km so no time lost, but it was not a happy sight. More to come about that in the cycling press for sure.

Stage: Andre Greipel
Yellow: Fabian Cancellara

Violet was curious.
Wine of the stage: Cider today
 Bordelet Sydre Agrelette 2010 
 $21.00  from Arlequin Wine in San Francisco

From the producer:
In 1992, Eric Bordelet, previously sommelier at Arpege Alain Passard's Restaurant in Paris took over the production of this family property in Normandy. Believing that cider and Poiré should be produced like wine he grows more than 20 varieties of apple and 15 varieties of pear. Connoisseurs admire his entirely artisan and apothecary style of working.His range includes several products, all worth the detour. He has dubbed his ciders"Sydre""Sidre", the former spelling of those words.  
Location :  Situated in the south of Normandy on the Armorican Massif,extending from Domfrontais to the outermost borders of the Mayenne and the Orne.
Terroir :  The property is situated on schiste,sedimentary rock dating back to the Precambrian era.This has produced silt and clayey-silt soil. Its 15 hectares property is divided up into 3 hectares 40-50 years old fruit orchard,a 7 hectares vineyard orchard planted in 1992 and trellised and 5 hectares pears orchard dating back to 1992.
Fruit varieties and orchard management : 20 varieties of apple at least (sweet, bitter, sour), 15 varieties of pear. All cultivated according to bio-dynamic agricultural practices,as they are better adapted to the production quality fruit.
Transformation : Hand-picked harvest in metre cube pallets which are then placed in a dry and aired location in vie of dehydrating the fruit for 3 or 5 weeks.The apples are ground and simply pressed. Pressing is followed by settling and racking several times in view of clarification and to slow down fermentation.
Filtration and bottling,with more or less residual sugar (no chaptalisation) depending upon the product,are carried out in view of natural fermentation.Bubbles develop within two weeks of bottling. The alcoholic content varies from 3-7°.

This prestigious offering combines 19 apple varieties, prepared according to an ancestral method of maceration.The nose exhales a mixture of fruity and mineral notes: stewed apple, apricot, lemon, honey and mile spices. Ample, balanced palate, boasting intense flavours, brought out by extremely small bubbles. A premium cider that can be served with a meal or offered as an aperitif and indeed Normand's cheese.Worth ageing.

I say: This is a gorgeous cider. I don't know what mile spices may be, but true apple and some citrus indeed. Much fresher and more tart than some ciders I have had. I like this one a lot.

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