Caravaggio - Vicenza 214 km
From the Garibaldi: Long, flat stage on roads that are almost without exception wide and straight. The usual traffic hazards on this type of road: roundabouts, traffic islands, underpasses. A short section of race route from km 110 to km 130 has many curves. After the Intermediate Sprint at Orgiano, the race route enters the Monti Berici (Berici Hills). Road narrows with sudden turns and short, technical descents. After Nanto, a short climb (GPM) followed by a very fast descent, the last part of which is quite technical. Final 10 km mostly flat.
Final kilometres mostly flat. Inside the final 3 km right turn and railway underpass. At 1.700 m sharp lefthand turn (wide road, slightly uphill). Then, some straight sections leading to the 250 m final straight. Road width 8 m, surfaced with asphalt. In the final metres urban hazards including roundabouts and traffic islands.
Urban hazards? That does not sound good. But, also, not unusual. Today looks for a sprint day, unless that bump at the end of the stage profile is enough to dislodge them.
I think Cav will be determined to win, not just for the always important stage win, but because if he wants to keep the red (points) jersey through the end of the race, a win here is probably essential. Cav needs more of a points lead going into the high mountains to keep his lead over Cadel Evans, who may take points on the stages there. Last year, Cav lost the jersey by one point. The competition going into today's stage:
|3||BETANCUR GOMEZ Carlos A.||COL||ALM||85|
|6||URAN URAN Rigoberto||COL||SKY||76|
As a Cav fan, I'd like him to hold the jersey. Note that there are also races for Best Young Rider, King of the Mountain and others that create some fun "race within the race" excitement. My Stage Predictor Picks for the day: Cav, Blythe, Sanchez and Nizzolo.
The morning pre-video breakaway, went out very early at six kilometers:
giroditalia 5:24am via Web
|Willow is not amused|
Another Melissa Sutherland recommendation
From 67Wine: Considered the best Lugana estate, the Dal Cero family has developed their own special indigenous clone they call Turbiana. The winery is located on the south banks of Lake Garda, Italy’s largest lake, whose moderating influence give them a Mediterranean-like climate.
From the importer:
|Four generations of the Dal Cero family have worked at Ca dei Frati (the "house of friars") since acquiring the estate in 1940. The winery is located on the south banks of Lake Garda, near the Sirmione peninsula, and beneficiates from the lake's influence. The prevailing wind and mild climate contributes to the production of high quality wines despite the flatness of the land. With 150 hectares of vineyards (all of them hand harvested!), Ca dei Frati is the most important winery in Lugana. The predominantly clay soil provide all of the grapes used in the production. The focus of the estate is the local Trebbiano-based Lugana. At Ca dei Frati, Lugana is interpreted in a variety of styles, some innovative and some traditional, all however, true to the spirit of the region and its proud wine heritage. The wines are elegant in structure with a hint of wildness and are unique for their concentration, complexity, and expressiveness.|
|Ca dei Frati Website|
|Lugana I Frati|
|100% Lugana (Trebbiano).|
Sourced from I Frati - Sirmione San Rocco - Pozzolengo Ronchedone - Desenzano del Garda La Tür - Desenzano del Garda Rovizza Alta - Peschiera del Garda, all on chalky clay soils. Fermentation in temperature controlled stainless steel. 80% Malolactic fermentation in stainless steel. Aged on the lees for 6 months in tank, followed by 3 months bottle aging prior to release.
This is Ca Dei Frati's flagship wine which has made their reputation, and continues to represent the image of the winery. Its production reflects the value they place on local traditions and practices. It is made from grapes grown on 10 to 35 year old vines, planted on calcareous and clay soil.
The nose is clean, delicate and fragrant, with perfumes of fresh white flowers and nettles, apricots and almonds. An attractive acidity gives it an elegant finish and makes it particularly easy to drink. It is a perfect match for cold starters, vegetable soups and steamed or grilled fish. It ages well and acquires after several years in bottle notes of spices and candied fruit, as well as complexity.
I say: Lemon in color and K insists that is what it smells like. Full and smooth. Apricots, almonds and quince, with enough acid to be balanced. I meant to get back to this wine on day two, but life interfered. Tasted again on day three, it was just lovely: acid, apricots ad flowers.