From LeTour: Jean François Pescheux's view
A balancing act: "One symbol follows another. After Coëtquidan and Saint-Malo, we will be setting up camp in front of Mont Saint-Michel for another stage that promises to be spectacular. Our countryside will get a tremendous publicity boost if the sun decides to come to the party as well. Mont Saint-Michel is France's second most popular tourist attraction after the Eiffel Tower, and images of it will be broadcast to two billion viewers across the world? All this could almost make us forget that, back on the road, there will a great duel between the rouleurs. As part of the balancing act designed to maintain suspense, we have opted for a shorter time trial than those in recent editions."
Will this be the most photographed stage of the race? I'm guessing it will be the final stage in Paris, but today will be a close second as the riders time trial at Mont Saint-Michel. A fairly flat course, with some rolling hills at the start seem to favor the time trial specialists. Thus, my Podium Cafe Stage Predictor picks of the day: Tony Martin, Chris Froome, Sylvain Chavanel and Alejandro Valverde.
Before they start, a few comments on yesterday's sprint finish. I am an admitted Mark Cavendish fan, so I'll let him explain the sprint in a series of tweets:
Wine: Cyril Zangs Cidre 2010
From Selection Massale: Cyril Zangs is working with apples grown organically, picked by hand in late October to early November. He is working with a huge variety of apples Binet, Frequin, Joly, Rambault, St. Martin, Rouge Duret, Bedan, Moulin à Vent, Nöel des Champs and a number of apples that haven't been identified yet. Zangs tells us the idea is to have apples that are sweet, bittersweet, and tartly acidic to balance everything out instead of some growers who have switched to a mono-cepage where single flavors (usually sweet) can dominate. After harvest Cyril puts his apples through greniers, or aging in an attic, for one or two months depending on the year, an old practice that gives the resulting cider much more depth of both color and flavor. After the greniers aging, the cider is pressed off and fermented naturally and bottled to go through secondary fermention. Then that it spends some time on the lees and is disgorged, and then spends more time in bottle before release, a rarity for cider.
I say: There is always a cider for the Tour.
The first of three in a row from Selection Massale.
Gorgeous color. Funky, ripe and fruity with some tanginess. Dry finish. I am far from a cidre expert, but I would say this is a very wine-y cider.