From the Garibaldi:
Very hard uphill finish after a short stage (168 km). Flat approach as far as Pinerolo (intermediate sprint). Long and ‘pedalable’ climb to the GPM at Sestrière. Fast descent as far as Oulx before a false flat leading to Bardonecchia (intermediate sprint) and then the final climb as far as the Jafferau.
Final 7 km climbing steeply at gradients of 9-10%, reaching 14% in the first part. Narrow road at Maillaures, on the steepest section at about 6 km from the finish line. Finishing straight 50 m long. Road width 6 m, dirt.
Up we go. Both today's and tomorrow's have routes have changed due to snow , cold, and avalanche risks. Our new stage profile is:
The forecast is for rain/snow all day, and a few degrees above freezing at the top. A few riders chose to head home early rather than face the remaining week: Bobridge, Steegmans, Bennati, and Kroon.
Our break of the day is Sonny Colbrelli (Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox), Luca Paolini (Katusha), Matteo Trentin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) and Daniele Pietropolli (Lampre-Merida). With about 100 kilometers remaining, they had eight minutes over the main field. Behind, there was a crash in the peloton involving Vanotti, Battaglin and Chalapud. An ambulance was necessary and Vanotti and Battaglin retired from the race.
And then came this tweet:
renovandael 6:04am via TweetDeck
No live images and lots of highlights on Eurosport. Like a Giro retrospective without the last week. Time for some more Geoguessr.
jasenthorpe 6:33am via Twitter for iPhone
Now a confession: After getting up at 5 am to watch and having no pictures for 2+ hours, I went to the farmers market and drowned my sorrows in this Southern Combo sandwich with egg from my favorite 4505 Meats. Plus apricots and cherries and blueberries and more:
Meanwhile, I followed along on twitter.
1 M. Santambrogio Vini Fantini 4:42:55
2 V. Nibali Astana +0
3 C. Betancur AG2R +8
4 S. Sánchez Euskaltel +26
5 R. Urán Team Sky +30
6 C. Evans BMC Racing +33
7 D. Pozzovivo AG2R +33
8 R. Kišerlovski RadioShack +33
9 S. Colbrelli Bardiani Valvole +55
10 D. Caruso Cannondale +58
1 V. Nibali Astana 57:20:52
2 C. Evans BMC Racing +1:26
3 R. Urán Team Sky +2:46
4 M. Santambrogio Vini Fantini +2:47
5 M. Scarponi Lampre +3:53
6 P. Niemiec Lampre +4:55
7 D. Pozzovivo AG2R +5:02
8 R. Majka Saxo - Tinkoff +5:32
9 C. Betancur AG2R +5:39
10 B. Intxausti Movistar +5:41
Francesco Brigatti 2011 Vespolina
$27.00 at Biondivino
Winery: Francesco Brigatti
Sub-Region: Colline Novaresi
From the producer, with help from Google Translate:
Area and production joint Novara Hills - Suno (NO)
Grapes: 100% Vespolina
Vineyard Size: 0.5 acres
Altitude: 300 m asl
Training system: Guyot
Average age of vines: 20 years
Grape yield by hectare: 50 quintals
Harvest: First week of October
Duration of maceration and fermentation 5 - 6 days
Duration Ageing in wood: 4 - 6 months
Type of wood used: 15 hl oak barrels since
Duration Refinement in bottle: 6 months
Number of bottles produced: 2,000
Vespolina is a red Italian wine grape variety that is planted in Piedmont around Gattinara. Ampelographer believe that the grape is most likely indigenous to this area of Piedmont and recent DNA profiling identified a parent-offspring relationship with Nebbiolo. Outside of Piedmont, it is found in the Lombardy region of Oltrepò Pavese where the grape is known as Ughetta. In Gattinara, Vespolina is sometimes blended with Nebbiolo and Bonarda Piemontese. Unlike the white Italian grape Vespaiolo, the root of the name Vespolina does not have a direct connection with vespe or wasp. However the true origins of the name are still unclear.
I say: Bright and fresh. Vibrant even. Black pepper and cherries. 12% alcohol on the label. Falls into that gulpable category. I make strawberry balsamic black pepper jam. This tastes makes me want to make a cherry version.