Where are we: Still in Northern Ireland. Starting at the Titanic Quarter, (cue sinking ship jokes), and then on to Antrim, Ballymena, Bushmills (whiskey!), the Giant's Causeway, Cushendall, Larne, Whitehead, Carrickfergus before returning to Belfast.
The route: Today we have 219 kilometers, heading further north and then back to Belfast along the coast. Weather may be an issue. Perhaps crosswinds will provide some excitement, but a bunch sprint is likely. The favorite of the day? Probably Marcel Kittel. Have i mentioned too many times already how I wish Cav was here?
The stage: Yesterday provided a bit more excitement than expected, with the Dan Martin crash. He is not starting today, along with Koldo Fernandez who missed the time cut. Early on, there was the usual formation of the likely to be doomed break, this time featuring Jeffry Johan Romero Corredor of Colombia, Maarten Tjallingii of Belkin Pro Cycling Team, Sander Armee of Lotto Belisol, and Andrea Fedi of Neri Sottoli - Yellow Fluo. Of course, it was raining, which led to a few rather expected crashes along the route. Meanwhile, the announcers were asking for questions on twitter: a sure sign that they expected a rather dull stage, until the finish.
Our first King of the Mountain winner: Maarten Tjallingii. A second 4th category climb would come later in the stage. A time check: the gap was around 5 and a half minutes with 79 kilometers to go. With 60 kilometers to go, it had dropped to 4 and a half minutes.
Plenty of horsepower in the #giro peloton. pic.twitter.com/zotXmVrkTd
— Dan Wuori (@dwuori) May 10, 2014
Moving along, the gap was at about three and a half minutes with 40 kilometers to go. Thirty three to go and it was down to two and a half minutes. Such it went, until towards the end, Tjallingi attempted a solo escape. He was, to the surprise of absolutely no one, caught, setting up the expected sprint finish. Also expected, the winner of the day, Marcel Kittel.
Kind of a dull stage, but at least they mainly stayed upright in the rain.
Stage: Marcel Kittle
Pink: Michael Matthews
The wine: Bushmills 10-Year Single Malt Whiskey, from what is probably the oldest distillery still in operation. A license to distill was granted by King James 1 in 1608. The
The Old Bushmills Distillery was registered in 1784.
From the producer: So‚ the first of the single malts‚ and one that will leave you with an exceptionally smooth finish. The distinctive Bushmills light fruity aroma travels over the lip of your tumbler to deliver 10 years of maturation mostly in bourbon seasoned barrels. That old Kentucky spirit becomes melted chocolate and honey that sits on the tongue and‚ for me‚ slightly dries the back of the throat.”
I say: Smooth and very easy to drink. Soft comes to mind. Fruity, with notes of vanilla and caramel.