Friday, May 10, 2013

Wines of the Giro Stage 7: La Murola Montepulciano & Adam Hansen!!
Stage 7: 177km from San Salvo to Pescara

From the Garibaldi: Stage through the Appennine Mountains. The final section of the race route sees more than 2.600 m of vertical altitude gain over a succession of short climbs and ramps. The first part is rolling, with only one long climb: Paglieta. After the fixed feedzone at Guardiagrele, there are a number of sharp ramps: Bucchianico (max 15%), Villamagna (GPM), Chieti-Pietragrossa (max 16% - GPM), Chieti-Tricalle (max 19% - TV), Santa Maria de Criptis (max 16% - GPM) and San Silvestro (max 14% - GPM). The final climb is just over 7 km from the finish line.

Final climb 7.500 m from the finish line. Technical descent with hairpins. Final 4 km mostly flat with only two curves (the last, 2.200 m from the finish line). Finish line after a straight section lasting 1700 m. Road width 7.5 m, surfaced with asphalt.

Quite a stage profile today:
As you can see, it is very bumpy, which usually indicate an exciting day ahead. But with the individual time trial tomorrow, will riders save energy?

There was, apparently, a very early and pre-video breakaway and they continued to lead for quite a while:
giroditalia 4:43am via web
Km 41. Sella (AND), Tamouridis (EUS), Rollin (FDJ), Hansen (LOT), Tjallingi (BLA) Lightart (Vacansoleil DCM) > 4'45'' > Bunch /Gruppo #giro

66 km to go, possible rain on the finish line. Sella, Tamouridis, Rollin, Hansen, Tjallingi, Lightart > 7'00'' > Bunch. #giro

We're heading towards the first of today's categorised climbs at Villamagna and the pace has markedly increased. Gap down to 4' 13" #Giro

By 50 km remaining, the gap was down to around three minutes and the Be-in commentators were pointing out vines along the road. At the back of the race, the  grupetto formed including Mark Cavendish and the still not feeling well Taylor Phinney. 
The #giro peloton just passed through hometown of Rocky Marciano's father.

Breakaway rider Adam Hansen, by the way, is on my fantasy cycling team. He was also the only rider last year to complete all three of the Grand Tours: The Giro, Tour de France and Vuelta.

opqscyclingteam 7:24am via TweetDeck
#Giro: 34km to go, gap 1'42". Hansen and Sella battle it out for the intermediate sprint points after attacking their break mates.

In hopefully not a foreshadowing of action ahead, Sella went down on a very slick corner, but Hansen waited and the two remained at the front together.
Tamouridis and Taborre together chasing Sella and Hansen. 21.7km to go, gap 3'04" to the peloton. #Giro

Behind, the peloton appeared to slow down, perhaps after receiving word of the slick roads ahead. And then the expected attack came from Nibali, Gesink, Scarponi and more. The entire Sky team looked to be dropped but then, from twitter:
Wiggins gets back to the pack of leaders. Was he pacing himself over the last climb or is he in a bad way? Answer tomorrow in the TT

From twitter:
I really hope that @HansenAdam wins this stage - he's worked so hard for everyone else for so long.

And, yes, he did it! Adam Hansen of Lotto Belisol won the seventh stage of the Giro d'Italia in a solo effort. He crossed the finish line in Pescara over a minute ahead of Enrico Bataglin (Bardolini Valvole) and Danilo Di Luca (Vini Fantini). Behind, things were also interesting.

From Podium Cafe: "The rain then made an appearance, and another dose of I Can't Believe It's a Road Surface struck the Giro d'Italia, as rider after rider slipped and slid in wet corners, particularly on the descent back to the coastline. Vincenzo Nibali attacked at the top of the San Silvestro climb, then promptly wiped out on the descent. Numerous other riders went down... but got back up and kept racing." 

Bradley Wiggins crashed on the wet roads with about five km to go, losing time not only from the crash but from his slow descent afterwards. A small group of favorites crossed the finish line 1:15 after Hansen, with both Wiggins and maglia rosa Luca Paolini losing time. Paolini fell to 15th, and Wiggins dropped out of the top 20. The new pink jersey is Benat Intxausti (Movistar).

From twitter:

nealrogers 8:39am via TweetDeck
Brad Wiggins heads into tomorrow's difficult 55km TT down 1:30 on his GC rivals, a bit battered and bruised, and likely quite angry. #Giro

1 Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Belisol

2 Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox

3 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
4 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
5 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling
6 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team
7 Stefano Pirazzi (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox
8 Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ
9 Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge
10 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Sharp

1 Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar Team
2 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:05
3 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Sharp 0:00:08
4 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:00:10
5 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia 0:00:13
6 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:00:16
7 Robert Gesink (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team 0:00:17
8 Ivan Santaromita (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:00:19
9 Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge 0:00:29
10 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) RadioShack Leopard 0:00:34

La Murola Montepulciano 2010 $18.00

From the importer: LA MUROLA is a family-owned winery in the Macerata province of Le Marche. For over 200 years they have owned 60 ha. dedicated to the cultivation of indigenous grape varieties. These vineyards have an ideal location between the Adriatic Sea to the immediate East, the Sibillini mountains to the West, and the protected Abbadia di Fiastra natural reserve to the North. In fact, part of the La Murola vineyards lie within the confines of this natural reserve! The vines grow at an elevation of 300 meters above sea level.

A little bit about Montepulciano D'abruzzo from Eric Asimov in the NY Times in 2008: "This lively, juicy red wine comes from the rugged Abruzzi hills above the Adriatic coast of central Italy, a region long known for its tidal wave of mass-produced reds. Abruzzi is dominated by giant cooperatives pumping out adequately palatable wine, but it is evolving and improving, like much of southern Italy, with more and more serious producers taking the lead in seeking higher quality. And these serious producers have raised the bar for everybody . . . .
Montepulciano d'Abruzzo is the kind of wine that I'm happy to find shoring up the bottom of any decent wine list. It is resolutely dry, with enough soft fruit to be drinkable when young, yet tannic enough to keep it trim and energetic. While it pairs naturally with any dish that has tomato sauce, it's as versatile as barbera or good Beaujolais."

I say: Very pretty and easy to drink. Gulpable perhaps. Cherries, plums, clove and a few flowers.

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