Friday, May 17, 2013

Wines of the Giro Stage 13: Cav & Derthona Massa
Busseto - Cherasco 254km

From the Garibaldi:

Longest stage of the Giro at 254 km. Mostly flat. From Busseto to Nizza Monferrato the race route crosses the Po Valley, before reaching the short climbs of the Langhe hills and entering the Province of Cuneo. One GPM at Tre Cuni after a long and ‘pedalable’ climb. Short ramps towards the end of the stage through Narzole as far as Cherasco. As in almost all passages through towns and villages, there are numerous hazards, including roundabouts, underpasses and traffic islands.
Final abrupt ramp from the Ponte bridge over the Tanaro river as far as Narzole with the final curve at 6 km from the stage finish in town. A short curve on an almost straight road with a 2.600 m finishing straight. Road width 7 m, surfaced with asphalt.

Longest day of the race makes me think breakaway, yet the relatively flat profile suggests the the sprinters may want another chance. I was uncertain enough that my Stage Predictor picks included Mark Cavendish, Taylor Phinney and Cadel Evans. 
A tweet from yesterday's winner and a link to show exactly how hard it really was raining yesterday:
MarkCavendish May 16, 11:26am via Twitter for BlackBerry
Can say my 100th win will be 1 I remember always. So proud of @opqscyclingteam. Youth & experience rode with heart & intelligence. #proud

The big news of the morning is the departure of two of the pre-race favorites: Sir Bradley Wiggins and Ryder Hesjedal. Both are reportedly ill and had lost considerable time in the last few stages. Neither at this point was going to win the race, but it is always sad to see great riders forced to abandon. 
ryder_hesjedal 1:07am via Twitter for BlackBerry®
Just wanted to say thank you to everyone, family,friends,fans and especially @Ride_Argyle @giroditalia the support is incredible.

Pre-video, there was an early break made up of Danilo Hondo (RadioShack Leopard), Giairo Ermeti (Androni Giocattoli), Rafael Andriato (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia), Pablo Lastras Garcia (Movistar Team), Tobias Ludvigsson (Team Argos-Shimano), Nicola Boem (Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox) and Lars Ytting Bak (Lotto Belisol).
daniellloyd1 4:52am via web
Giro update. 7 riders clear by 9:00 (maximum 13:45). Chase led by Astana, GreenEdge and Omega. 1st hour 48.5km. 254km so 2 feed zones today.

The group apparently had a maximum lead of 13m45s, but that dropped very quickly. Maybe there will be a sprint finish? 
120 km to go. Now the Gap is 7' for the break / 120 km al termine. Per la fuga 7' di vantaggio #giro
90 km to go: 3'40'' for the break / 90 km al termine: la fuga ha un vantaggio di 3'40'' #giro
Sure enough, it looks like the team may be working again today for Mark Cavendish.
giroditalia 6:21am via web

Now @opqscyclingteam is leading the bunch. 70 km to go. Gap 2'30''. #giro

Looking ahead, there are possibilities of a route change to come:
EuroHoody 6:32am via web
Giro officials saying that Galibier might be removed due to snow; new finish would be at Valloire after Telegraphe #giro

Also, Sky is trying to grown enthusiasm for their new team lead:
Lots of great responses. #GoGoRigoberto #mulletpower #UranCan #MovesLikeJagger #UranTheMan #riGO. Most popular by far = #VamosRigo

With about 45 kilometers to go, a group of attacks came from the peloton, perhaps in an effort to spoil the party for the sprint teams. Attackers included Proni, Garzelli, Paolini, Caruso, Pirazzi, and Rosa. But they could not stay away.
Now on the Cat. 3 climb. 37.9km to go, 30" gap. Cavendish still with the group, led by his teammates. #Giro #OPQS

A series of attacks cut the breakaway down to five riders with 7km to go: Bongiorno, Caruso, Azana, Herrada, and Rabottini. Caruso attacked hard on a short, steep ramp 6km from the finish, heading out alone. An abrief cceleration from Beñat Intxausti (Movistar) and Robert Kiserlovski (RadioShack), followed by Nibali, spelled the end of the chase group. Danilo Di Luca (Vini Fantini) countered and found himself inside the 14-second gap between Caruso and the Cannondale-led peloton. With 1.5km remaining, Di Luca and Caruso were caught and Orica led the bunch into the final kilometer.
And Cav it was, winning his 4th stage of this Giro in style. 

Cavendish loves the Giro, the #Giro loves Cav. "I'm going all the way to Brescia" Cav tells Italian TV. How many stages is he going to win?

Mark Cavendish on @opqscyclingteam team work today: "I wouldn't be able to sleep tonight if I hadn't won this stage" #giro

1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 
2 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) RadioShack Leopard
3 Luka Mezgec (Slo) Team Argos-Shimano
4 Brett Lancaster (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
5 Elia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling
6 Manuel Belletti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
7 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
8 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Lampre-Merida
9 Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ
10 Miguel Angel Rubiano Chavez (Col) Androni Giocattoli

1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team    
2 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:00:41  
3 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling 0:02:04  
4 Robert Gesink (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team 0:02:12  
5 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-Merida 0:02:13  
6 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia 0:02:55  
7 Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida 0:03:35  
8 Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar Team 0:04:05  
9 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2R La Mondiale 0:04:17  
10 Rafal Majka (Pol) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:04:21  

Derthona Massa 2010, $27.99
From 67Wine
It’s hard not to get worked up about Walter Massa’s wines: he had a vision for a variety nobody wanted, worked in obscurity for years, rescued the grape, and doesn't talk about himself but about the territory of Colli Tortonesi. When you get lost going there, start asking people 100 km out and they know and love him, from the gas station guy to the producer next to him. A prophet, a farmer, a philosopher and someone that you’d want to share a glass of wine with at your table. 

From Decanter:

Timorasso is a grape that ought to have a wider audience. It has everything going for it: opulent aromas, full body and great acidity. It can do oaked and unoaked styles with equal aplomb and it is capable of developing impressive complexity with age. Two things possibly holding it back are scarcity and unfamiliarity. On the subject of the latter, its cause is not helped by a degree of confusion over the name. Timorasso may be bottled under the Colli Tortonesi DOC, with or without an indication of the grape. Derthona, the name of a proposed new DOC for Timorasso which hopefully will come into force next year, is also used by some producers, either alongside the existing DOC or in one case for a table wine. However it is labelled, Timorasso, which was virtually wiped out by phylloxera at the start of the last century and only retrieved from obscurity in the past 15 years, is by far the most characterful of Piedmont’s native white varieties, knocking spots off the lean and one dimensional Cortese and the soft and simple Arneis.

I say: Nutty, with spiced honey. Creamy and white flowers.
Another recommendation from Melissa Sutherland. Her comment: "The minerality reminds me of Riesling but hugely muscular. Timorasso would have been the grape of Gavi if it weren’t so difficult to grow. Cortese (of Gavi) is much easier."

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