Saturday, July 7, 2012

TdF Stage 7: Tomblaine to La Planche des Belles Filles

"This is going to hurt : "Much has been said and written about this one. This stage is obviously making its Tour debut, since it starts from Tomblaine (the main town of the Meurthe-et-Moselle canton) and heads towards the only ski resort in the Haute-Saône, which the Tour has never visited before but where it may return if the course delivers on its promise. There is much more to the stage than just the finish, as the Col de la Grosse Pierre and the Col du Mont de Fourche make it a real leg breaker! The result? This stage is going to hurt. Then the best will duke it out on La Planche des Belles Filles. An 8.5% gradient with certain sections at 13%. A gruelling climb..."








Yesterday was quite a day. In case you missed it, I direct you to this injury report from PodiumCafe. Note that almost all of these riders finished the stage. The list of riders who either did not finish yesterday or did not start today seems to be: Mikel Astarloza, Amets Txurruka, Davide Vigano, Tom Danielson, Ryder Hesjedal, Robert Hunter, Hubert Dupont, Wout Poels, Oscar Freire, Maarten Wynants, Imanol Erviti, Jose Ivan Gutierrez.

Previously retired hurt: Marcel Kittel, Maarten Tjallingii, Kanstantsin Sivtsov and Jose Joaquin Rojas.  182 started today, but early in the stage Anthony Delaplace abandoned. 

In the laughter is the best medicine category we have the Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank morning playlist:

KarstenKroon 1:49am via Twitter for BlackBerry®

Today's playlist: staying alive,born to be alive,I will survive,shake that body. OK and YMCA!

Today's 199km stage runs from Tomblaine to La Planche des Belles Filles in the Voges mountains. The break of the day formed early with Cyril Gautier, Christophe Riblon, Luis Leon Sanchez, Chris Anker Sorensen, Dmitriy Fofonov, Martin Velits, and Michael Albasini. Midway through the stage, with just about 100 km to go, their gap to the main peloton was 5 minutes. Meanwhile back in the peloton:

TheRaceRadio 6:19am via Web

Always impressed to see @MarkCavendish, in the Rainbow jersey, grabbing bottles for his teammates

With 70km left on the day, the gap from the break to the main peloton was fairly steady at about 5 minutes. And then, well, it was a great day for Sky.
From PodiumCafe:
Chris Froome of Sky did double-duty today on a grand scale, first delivering his captain Bradley Wiggins into the yellow jersey and then accelerating in the last 200 meters for the stage victory. Sky, led by Froome, drilled all of their rivals on the terribly steep climb to La Planche des Belles Filles, with numerous favorites losing more than two minutes and only Cadel Evans of BMC, Vincenzo Nibali of Liquigas, and Rein Taaramae of Cofidis able to keep the pace. Evans was strong enough to make a kick for the stage win, ahead of Wiggins, who stayed put while his deserving domestique went stage hunting. Froome easily came past Evans on the final ramp, a horrible 20% incline, for the win. 

Stage: Chris Froome 
  1. Wiggins
  2. Evans, at 0.10
  3. Nibali, at 0.16
  4. Taaramae, at 0.32
  5. Menchov, at 0.54
  6. Zubeldia, at 0.59
  7. Monfort, at 1.09
  8. Nicholas Roche, AG2R, at 1.22
  9. Froome, at 1.32
  10. Michael Rogers, Sky, at 1.40


Wine:  Chateau de Vaux Les Gryphees 
Moselle Blanc 2011 
from Franklywines  $18.99

Christy to the rescue again, as I needed something from the Moselle and could not find anything in the Bay Area. I'm pleased to see LeTour list the specialties of the region as plum, bergamot, macaroons, madeleines (cookies), as I'll be canning plum jam this afternoon after the stage ends.

From the importer:
Norbert Molozay is a true pioneer in French winemaking who has nearly single-handedly resuscitated France’s most northerly appellation, Moselle. This tiny VDQS (just 100 acres) is tucked up in the northeast corner of France, just over the Vosges Mountains from Alsace, near the Luxembourg border. Although an important wine region up to the mid-nineteenth century, phylloxera, industrialization and two world wars brought near obliteration of viticulture around Metz, in Lorraine, whose production was sold to make champagne until 1910, when the A.O.C. Champagne was created.

Starting with the 2009 vintage, Château de Vaux will be working with organic farming methods, and will be certified organic ( biologique ) in 3 years.
Chateau de Vaux Website

Moselle Blanc - Les Gryphées
The cuvée Les Gryphées is composed of 30% Auxerrois, 30% Muller Thurgau (a crossing of Riesling and Chasselas), 30%Tokay Pinot Gris and 10% Gewurztraminer. The vines grow on rocky terraces with a south, southeast exposure in a climate which is a mix of oceanic and continental. Vines are planted on hillsides west of the Moselle River on clay-limestone soils. Each grape variety is separately harvested according to its ripeness, and is immediately pressed in a pneumatic wine press. Fermentation is carried out in temperature-controlled tanks at low temperature, with final blending in February. Les Gryphées shows notes of peaches and white flowers on the nose, followed through the palate with ripe fruit which is both rich, delicate and complex, revealing peaches and banana.
Molozay suggests pairing this delightful wine with tagliatelle and mussels, sea scallops or a roasted free-range chicken with lemongrass. Indeed the Germanic resonances of this cuvee marry extremely well with exotic seasonings.

 I say: My first Moselle wine. This is why I first started both the wines of the Giro and wines of the Tour challenges--to taste wines from regions outside my usual suspects. 
A bit more golden than I expected. Lots of peaches on the nose, perhaps even K's favorite white peaches, some musk and flowers. Rich, full but not heavy. 

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