Sunday, July 8, 2012

TdF Stage 8: Belfort to Porrentruy: Pinot Wins!

A terrific launch pad

"In my opinion, this could very well end up being the key stage of the Tour! The course is just 157 km long, but it has been designed to promote attacks and comebacks. If a favourite loses three minutes on the previous day's final climb, he will get the chance to make amends on this stage. There is a succession of six climbs, including the Col de la Croix a mere 16 km from the finish. This 3.7 km climb with an average gradient of 9.2% is a terrific launch pad! In short, this course is reminiscent of the one in Les Rousses, where Sylvain Chavanel stole the show two years ago. Back then, Andy Schleck regretted not having scouted the stage beforehand. This time he cannot say no-one has warned him."

Off to Switzerland and, hey, look, cycling on NBC again!
From twitter: dwuori 6:53am via web
.@nbc ought to incorporate at least a few pop-up ads, just to make cycling fans feel at home. #tdf
A short stage, but as you can see above possible fireworks. Plus, from twitter:
Andymcgra 3:46am via web
Look out for the final roundabout with 600 metres to go in Porrentruy. It's very tight, and is home to a towering model brontosaurus.

Seven ranked climbs today and a lot of Jens! Voigt trying to get in a break early.  
The climbs are:
Km 20.0 - Côte de Bondeval (4ª): 4.4 km / 3.9%
Km 32.0 - Côte du Passage de la Douleur (3ª): 3.8 km / 6.4%
Km 50.0 - Côte de Maison-Rouge (2ª): 7.9 km / 5%
Km 73.0 - Côte de Saignelégier (2ª): 7.8 km / 6.1%
Km 97.0 - Côte de Saulcy (2ª): 4.6 km / 8.6%
Km 130.5 - Côte de la Caquerelle (2ª): 4.3 km / 7.6%
Km 141.5 - Col de la Croix (1ª): 3.7 km / 9.2%
With about 65 kilometers to go there were groups spread all over the road behind Jeremy Roy and Frederik Kessiakoff.
Twitter again: _Gavia_ 6:59am via Echofon
Kessiakoff has gone up the road solo from the break. He has around 30 seconds over the chase. Also, there are running cows. 51km to go.  
With about 31 km to go Kessiakoff held an advantage of about 1'15" on a group that included: Gallopin, Kern, Nerz, Kadri, Moncoutie, Hoogerland, Pinot, Roy with the peloton 3'35" behind.
Gradually, they all fell off except for Pinot, who flew by Kessiakoff at the top of the final climb. Following them were the yellow jersey group at 1:45 back.
Pinot looked very strong (There is a syrah joke hiding in that sentence.) But could he hold with the favorites closing fast?
He could! A victory for the youngest (22) man in the Tour! The picture in this link of his team car is worth a click.
Behind, the favorites finished together despite several attempts by Cadel Evans to gain time. Tomorrow, the time trial.

Stage: Thibaut Pinot 
  1. Wiggins
  2. Evans, at 0.10
  3. Nibali, at 0.16
  4. Menchov, at 0.54
  5. Zubeldia, at 0.59
  6. Froome, at 1.32
  7. Maxime Monfort, RNT at 2.08
  8. Van Den Broeck, at 2.11
  9. Nicholas Roche, AG2R, at 2.21
  10. Rein Taaramae, Cofidis, at 2.27

 Wine: 2008 Jacques Puffeney Arbois Trousseau Les Berangeres
From the importer: Jacques Puffeney's father was a vineyard worker who owned a mere speck of land in the village of Montigny Les Arsures (just around the corner from Arbois). Jacques made his first wine at the age of 17 but, to earn a living, he worked simultaneously as a "saleur de Comté" helping to make the fabled cheese of his region. Over time the Puffeney family acquired vineyards in Montigny and the surrounding villages and now the domaine encompasses 7.5 hectares, all in the appellation of Arbois. Jacques Puffeney’s prowess in both the vineyards and the cave has been recognized throughout France and has earned him the nickname among his colleagues of "the Pope of Arbois".

The vineyards are situated in the villages of Montigny Les Arsures, Arbois, and Villette des Arbois.  Four and one-half hectares are planted to white varieties: 2.7 hectares to the extraordinary local grape, Savagnin; and 1.8 hectares to Chardonnay. The remaining 3 hectares are devoted to a series of red grapes: 1.2 hectares planted to Poulsard (also known locally as “Ploussard”); 1.2 hectares dedicated to Trousseau; and Pinot Noir is found in the final .60 hectares. Montigny Les Arsures is recognized as the prime site for the Trousseau grape in the Jura and the village proudly proclaims its status as “the capital of Trousseau”.

The harvest, which normally begins in late September, is done manually. It commences most often with the Chardonnay, then the Poulsard, followed by Pinot Noir and Trousseau; finally, the Savagnin is picked at the close of the season which sometimes can extend into November.

The reds are fermented in cuve and are then racked into foudres (not new) where the malolactic fermentation takes place. The reds are aged at least two years and sometimes longer (up to 30 months in some cases) in barrel, the length of time depending upon the structure of the vintage.  The white wines are treated in the most traditional fashion of the Jura, left to age in barrel (foudres and barriques) for extended periods without topping up so as to encourage the development of the oxidative characteristics that define the best of the classic Jura wines.  Jacques Puffeney does not fine or filter any of his wines.

I say:  Well, I suppose it should be pinot but. . .
Herbal, earthy with lot of flowers. First word from a visiting friend "yummy" followed by  "where can I buy this?"  Second friend: "I like this a lot. Some dirt, but I like that." Light but also rich. Fruit, leaves and moss. Google found me a quote by Jon Bonné in the SF Chronicle, which I like a lot "I think of red Arbois like a red balloon - light as air but captivating; this might be a touch more grounded."

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