Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Tony Martin! Wine & Food of the Tour de France 2015 Stage 4: Fantome Artist & Liège Waffles

Stage 4 223.5 km 
Seraing / Cambrai 

Seraing is a Walloon municipality of Belgium in Province of Liege. The city website suggests that Industrial Tourism is popular: Seraing, an industrial town known for its collieries, glass making, iron and steel factories and today, an electricity generation company S.P.E. also encourages visitors to explore the riches of its past, present and future.

Specialties from Le Tour:
Liège meatballs, peket (a gin-like aperitif), rice tart, white pudding, Liège waffles, Hervé cheese, beer

Cambria: France!
Michelin says: A peaceful city of white chalkstone preserving the memory of its bishop Fenelon. Andouilettes, tripe and «offal» attract their fans into this military and Episcopal town, situated on the right bank of the river Escaut at the centre of a wealthy region
Perhaps time to visit: World War I remembrance trails: http://www.amazing-cambrai.com/rubrique-59.html

Specialties from Le Tour: boiled sweets, Tome de Cambrai cheese, Vivat beer, Diot chocolates

The stage:

Christian Prudhomme's comment

The series of references to the great classics of cycling continues with a sequence of cobbled portions of Paris-Roubaix including six on a distance of around 30 kilometres. Seven sectors and just over 13 kilometres of trembling will force all the leaders and their team mates to be extra cautious.

Cobbles! I think many fans have had this date circled on their calendars ever since the route was announced last fall. Lots of very sore riders on the road today after yesterday's crash, plus a chance of rain and the longest day of the Tour, means that it will be another hard day. 
The break of the day consists of  Lieuwe Westra, Thomas De Gendt, Perrig Quémeneur, and Frédéric Brun. Halfway through the stage, their gap was over four minutes. 
As they approach the first of seven cobbled sectosr, Sky was leading the peloton. Bernie Eisel, we miss you. Riders behind were already being dropped. Up front, gaps were being formed as well. 

The break would start the first cobbled section with a gap of 1:10. 1800 meters of cobbles ahead! At the front of the main peloton, Mark Cavendish, working for Tony Martin. 
Excellent tractor art:

With the first cobbled section done, several riders, including Uran, Qunitana and Contador, changed bikes. With one hundred kilometers to go, the gap to the break was back at 2:48. It was still dry on the roads, though there were rumors of rain later in the stage. 

At the sprintermediate, Cav. Sagan appeared to suggest that the sprinters continue on, but they turned him down and waited for the peloton. 

France! A small crash as they cross the border, but everyone was back up quickly. 

After many quiet kilometers, teams were getting organized again at the front of the peloton as the next cobbles section loomed and the wind picked up. Rain!
Crash in the peloton on a corner, among those involved, Dan Martin. Astana to the front. Will we see another good ride from Nibali? Dust! 

Right around forty kilometers to go and there was the catch of the break. Nibali off the front with teammates, but they would not get a large gap. Still at the front, Chris Froome. Also, Tony Martin. Go Tony go! 
Twenty six kilometers to go and there was Nibali at the front again. He is just a fun rider to watch. Impressive riding today from the BMC team. Twenty one kilometers to go and a puncture for Pinot and one for Vanmarcke. Then a puncture for Tony Martin. Sigh. 

He would switch bikes with a teammate and make it back to the front group! Twelve kilometers to go and they hit the final cobbles with the top GC riders all still there. Ten kilometers to go and a small group off the front with Geraint Thomas pushing the pace. Froome himself would take over. Just under eight kilometers to go and the front groups were back together. Five kilometers to go and Cavendish is still there. Interesting. And there goes Martin with an attack. I repeat: Go Tony go! And, yes, finally, yellow for Tony Martin and with style. So very happy for him.



Beer: Fantome Artist 
The Shelton Brothers site has this to say:
 Fantôme (Brasserie Fantôme) is a small brewery in Soy, Wallonia, Belgium. Founded in 1988 by Dany Prignon, it produces Saison, a type of farmhouse ale.
From the brewer:
“Our little brewery would like to highlight a young Belgian artist Gaëlle Boulanger. She’s a magnificent painter, illustrator and graphic designer.
There will be a series of five special edition bottles, each of which featuring work from Gaëlle on the label. After all the bottles in the edition have been sold, the original painting will be auctioned for the benefit of the artist. This is a unique opportunity to get to know the great work of this young artist.  http://www.omalou.be  “

I say: Bitter, malty and  herbal.  Deep apricot in color, white head.

Food: Liège waffles
Because although I considered an entire Tour of cheese, I wanted a bit more variety. Plus, they are actually listed as a specialty from Le Tour for today's stage.

We use the Blue Bottle recipe, which K actually helped test for their first cookbook. I even blogged about the book back in the day. 
An adapted version can be found here.

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