Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wines of the Tour de France Stage 11: Cyril Zangs Cidre & Tony Martin
33 km from Avranches to Mont-Saint-Michel

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:

Not seen a replay of the final yet, but was involved in an incident with Tom Veelers. Whatever has happened, if I'm at fault, I'm sorry.

There's no way I'd move on a rider deliberately, especially one not contesting a sprint. I hope @tom_veelers is ok.

Just seen the sprint. I believe I didn't move line. I'm actually coming past Veelers & we touch elbows when he moves. Anyway, hope he's ok.

Can all sprint experts on twitter go; try flicking their bike right at 65kph without leaning your body left to balance & come back to me.

In other (kind of) non-related news, am starting to think @marcelkittel is the next BIG THING. Congratulations again.
Now, the time trial. The big favorite of the day, Tony Martin, is on and off the course long before live video. His time: 36:29.
EuroHoody 4:29am via TweetDeck
Getting warmer and windier as the day unfolds; late starters will face more demanding conditions - Martin's time will be hard to beat
mrconde 5:00am via Web
I doubt even Chris Froome can get close to Tony Martin today. 33 km with an average of 54,27 km/h. Top3 yes, but not the win.. #tdf
Final 500m of today's #Stage11 is a bit tricky: up a little ramp, around a bend, under an elevated road, and then a rise to the finish. #TdF

Meanwhile, some people really are awful:  it appears that a spectator threw liquid, probably urine, on Mark Cavendish, as he rode the course. The fact that spectators can and often do touch the racers (see the crazy folks running alongside the group during mountain stages) is fascinating to someone who grew up watching baseball and basketball games in stadiums and arenas. Incidents like this serve as a reminder that as appealing as that access can be, it also brings with it risks.
dwuori 5:00am via Twitter for iPhone
The accessibility of riders to fans is a blessing and a curse. What is wrong with these people? #tdf @MarkCavendish

On the road:
opqscyclingteam 5:53am via TweetDeck
#TDF: With 118 riders listed as finished, Martin still leads the #TDF ITT. De Gendt 2nd +39", Tuft 3rd +53". #OPQS

On the road, my decision to switch out Tejay VanGarderen for Alejandro Valverde in the Stage Predictor game, is not looking like a good one. As at the intermediate point, Tejay is riding in second place. He has had a rough Tour and it would be great to see him do well today. But he fades and comes in at 28th with the major GC riders still to come.

In case you have forgotten, current stage leader Tony Martin in still recovering from his injuries earlier in the race.
nyvelocity 6:28am via TweetDeck

FYI, nobody threw blood onto Tony Martin, that came from inside his skin suit. 
Great picture of Tony Martin at the end of today's stage. 
Chavanel on course and only a few seconds down to Martin at the first time check.  
Richie Porte in at third. Chavanel also fades a bit, finishing in fifth.
Cadel Evans and Andy Schleck on the course now. Yikes, yet not really surprising: Andy Schleck is 124th at the first time check.
inrng 6:59am via Web

Time trials are so important to the race but the filming/production makes for poor TV, backwards shots of men pedalling don't tell us much

The big names are finishing now: 14th for Cadel Evans. 109th for Andy Schleck. Froome now on course. Kwiatkowski in with the 4th best time. Will he be back on white? Things are indeed getting interesting:

mrconde 8:03am via Web
Good start from Valverde! 1 second faster than Porte and Contador. 24 seconds after Tony Martin. #tdf
inrng 8:05am via Web
Chris Froome beats Tony Martin's time at the first intermediate check by one second

Quintana comes in and indeed, Kwiatkowski will be back in white. Contador in with the 12th best time. At the second time check, Froome is 2 seconds faster than Martin! Can he hold on?
inrng 8:19am via Web
Chris Froome still up on Tony Martin at the second time check, just 2 seconds. Windy, exposed section ahead, will he stay in the lead?

An excellent question:
So did they just plan the entire Tour around the tide schedule? :D

Valverde in with the 12th best time. Hard to watch the wait of Martin. I'm hoping that he at least got a sandwich during all of the hours he waited in the hot seat. Froome will be close, but it is Martin!
Froome now leads Valverde by 3.25, Mollema at 3.37, Contador at 3.54. Kwiatkowski takes pole position in the white jersey competition too

Stage: Tony Martin
2  C. Froome Team Sky +12
3  T. De Gendt Vacansoleil +1:01
4  R. Porte Team Sky +1:21
5  M. Kwiatkowski O.Ph.-Q-Step +1:31
6  S. Tuft Orica +1:35
7  Sy. Chavanel O.Ph.-Q-Step +1:37
8  J. Roy +1:43
9  T. Dumoulin Argos +1:45
10 J. Castroviejo Movistar +1:52 

Yellow: Chris Froome
2  A. Valverde Movistar +3:25
3 B. Mollema Belkin +3:37
4  A. Contador Saxo-Tinkoff +3:54
5  R. Kreuziger Saxo-Tinkoff +3:57
6  L. ten Dam Belkin +4:10
7  M. Kwiatkowski O.Ph.-Q-Step +4:44
8  N. Quintana Movistar +5:18
9 R. Costa Movistar +5:37
10  J. Péraud AG2R +5:39

"This does not smell like wine!"
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.


  1. Why are you drinking from a glass?

    You could get a proper Boule Bretonne to drink your cidre from.

    That looks really good though, and your description has my mouth watering.

  2. You are right. I should have used a proper glass.
    Really a matter of poor planning on my part!