Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Wine & Food of the Tour 2016: Stage 5 Navarre Pineau des Charantes Vieux & Cantal

Where are we? Starting in Limoges and heading 216 kilometers to Le Lioran in the Massif Central.

Le Lioran:  From the resort's website: Le Lioran ski resort offers different activities for everybody, from hikers ans sports addictsto families. Le Lioran is the starting point of 300 kms of marked paths situated in the heart of the natural park.The Plomb du Cantal cable car permits to reach the highest peak, where you will discover a panoramic view of the Auvergne volcanoes. Everybody will enjoy the quiet and the beautiful landscapes of the highest volcanoes in Europe. 
There is apparently also miniature golf.  

LeTour Specialities: truffade (potato pancake with cheese), Cantal cheeses

From LeTour: Christian Prudhomme's comment: Before the serious business starts, the climbers will be able to seek inspiration in the conquering spirit of Raymond Poulidor while going through Saint-Lรฉonard-de-Noblat. They will then have to show themselves in the series of climbs on the menu with the Pas de Peyrol and the Col du Perthus, followed by the climb heading to Le Lioran.
A battle between downhillers is to be expected in the final moments.

The stage: A climbing they go. The early break has nine riders today: Gautier, Pauwels, Majka, Grivko, Huzarski, De Gendt, Van Avermaet, Sicard, and Vachon. They would get a large gap. Eventually, that group would break up.

80 kilometers to go and the trio had 13 minutes over the peloton. Crash. No one seemed very hurt, but it did slow up many. Apparently a math professor from Ghent has a formula to help determine if a break well be caught. 56 kilometers to go and the gap was over 14 minutes. 
Meanwhile, my love of field art continues.

Under 50 kilometers to go and the gap was around 13 minutes.
More field art, this time featuring my Tour food of the day.

40 kilometers to go and the gap was around 12 minutes as riders, mainly sprinters, began to drop off the back of the peloton. Ahead, Grivko was dropped by the break, leaving two out front. Behind, the peloton was rapidly shrinking with Movistar pushing the pace. There went Sagan (or Sagone per Jens on PodiumCafe) and surprisingly, Nibali as well. Twenty four kilometers to go and the gap had been brought down to 7 minutes. No more than 30 or so riders were left in the main bunch. Just over 17 kilometers to go and Van Avermae attacked and would ride away from De Gendt. 

The LeTour social media team has faith in GVA:

 And he would indeed hold on.



Wine: Navarre Pineau des Charantes Vieux
From FranklyWinesLimoges is near Angouleme which is not far from Cognac... so how about a pineau de charantes?? I don't think I've managed to sneak one of these in yet, but they are divine! Grape juice that's fortified with Cognac. The regular ones can be pretty sweet and simple, but I carry the PM Spirits ones which are aged and insanely good. There's his "regular" which is aged for a bit, for $43.99. And then the Vieux which is aged for even long - $68.99 and spectacular! You can drink them neat, or be really decadent and make a spritzer with rocks and a bit of sparkling water.

Food: Cantal Cheese  
Cantal AOC is one of the oldest cheeses in France dating to the times of the Gaul’s rule. It received an Appellation d'Origine (AOC) status from the administrative region of Cantal in the Auvergne region in 1956. This has ensured that the semi-hard, uncooked, pressed cheese has the features and characteristics attributable to the area of origin.
I admit that although it is not traditional at all, this ended up (with many other cheeses) in a baked mac and cheese. 


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