Sunday, July 17, 2016

Wine & Food of the Tour de France 2016 Stage 15: Buegy and Fromager d'Affinois

Where are we? Riding 159 kilometers in the Ain from Bourg-en-Bresse to Culoz

Bourg-en-Bresse is a three time stage town in the Ain. The town is famous for poultry. From Michelin: Bresse poultry has benefited from the AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) label since 1957, and chickens from Bresse are among France’s finest fowl. There are three reasons for this: breed, environment, and farming methods. 
Every year just before the holiday season, the poultry of Bresse are celebrated in great pomp during four festive days called Les Glorieuses de Bresse. Bedecked with ribbons, wrapped in linen or cotton swaddling, the fowl participate in a beauty pageant - the only one of its kind in France.
Lots more here from the UK Guardian.  
LeTour Specialities: AOP Bresse chicken, fondue bressane (chicken fondue), AOC Bresse butter and cream, Giraudet quenelles, frogs with parsley, carp from the ponds of the Dombes, AOC cheeses (Bleu de Bresse and Comté AOC), cream pie, gaudrioles (shortbread biscuits), Bugey AOC wines

Culoz is a first time stage town, still in the Ain.  Michelin tells me that: Peaking at an altitude of 1531 m, the Grand Colombier (Great Dovecote) is the highest summit of the Bugey, the southern Jura. It is a joy for hikers, a sinuous climb rewarding those who complete it with fine views. Pine woods stitch their delicate embroidery across the broad white cloth of the mountainside. The vista from the summit is ample justification for the effort involved.

Specialities: Le salé (walnut and onion tart), diots au Marc du Bugey (Savoy sausages), Bugey truffles, cheese (Tome de Belley, Pavé d'Affinois), Bugey wines (AOC Domaine de Bel-Air). Tradition for tanning in Belley

From LeTour: Christian Prudhomme's comment
Cyclists in the area are used to climbing the Grand Colombier, a fearsome —and feared— mountain pass in the Jura Massif from its four sides. The Tour peloton will face a similar challenge when it tackles the summit from two different sides in the same stage. A tricky descent awaits before the finish in Culoz.

The stage: This is one of the days we get full stage coverage, otherwise known as a really early wake up and a chance to see both the break and the grupetto develop. 

And the grupetto was forming very quickly. This could be a rough day for the sprinters. As always, I dream of grupetto cam. 
Meanwhile, ahead a new attack from Majka, with Zakarin and a large group chasing, including Nibali. It looked like that group of 30 riders would be the break of the day. They are: Jon Izagirre and Nelson Oliveira (Movistar), Vincenzo Nibali and Tanel Kangert (Astana), Rafal Majka (Tinkoff), Domenico Pozzovivo and Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R-LaMondiale), George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo), Haimar Zubeldia (Trek), Stef Clement, Jérôme Coppel and Jarlinson Pantano (IAM), Pierre Rolland, Tom-Jelte Slagter and Dylan van Baarle (Cannondale-Drapac), Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data), Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin), Steve Morabito and Sébastien Reichenbach (FDJ), Bartosz Huzarski (Bora-Argon 18), Alberto Losada and Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha), Kristjian Durasek, Tsgabu Grmay and Jan Polanc (Lampre-Merida), Romain Sicard and Thomas Voeckler (Direct Energie), Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-Quick Step), Dani Navarro (Cofidis) and Ruben Plaza (Orica-BikeExchange). With 122 kilometers to go, they had four minutes over the yellow jersey group.Their gap would continue to grow. With 100 kilometers to go, they had 6:20. 85 kilometers to go and they had just under 7 minutes.
Attacks would come within the break group, not surprising given the number of riders there. Dumoulin, Nibali, Pantano and Vuillermoz formed a new lead group. 61 kilometers to go and their group had 8 minutes over the yellow jersey group, with many chasers in between. They would be caught though. We had apparently hit the many small groups on the road portion of the stage. I would expect that to continue. 

Behind there are apparently 37 riders left in the yellow jersey group with Astana at the front, taking over, at least briefly, from Sky 

At the front of the race Majka, now in virtual polka dots and Zakarin. Behind them, an attack from Alaphillippe followed by Pantano. They would form a quartet at the front. 42 kilometers to go and they had seven minutes over the yellow jersey group. Alaphillippe surged ahead on the descent, but word that he had crashed or perhaps had a mechanical. Eventually, he was seen again on camera.

Quite a bell as they cross the finish line for the first time. Together up front, Majka and Pantano. In the yellow jersey group, Aru attacked followed by Valverde. They would be caught by the Sky domestiques. 
Gorgeous scenery today:

Majka still alone up front. As Bardet attacked in the yellow jersey group, Yejay was dropping off. Majka off the road into the grass, but he managed to stay on his bike. Closing quickly, Pantano.  

The chasers behind were closing quickly though. Stage win for Pantano. Well done. 

Behind, most of the big names finished together, minus Tejay. 
Also, kayak art:



General Classification after stage 15
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky68:14:36 
2Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo0:01:47 
3Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-BikeExchange0:02:45 
4Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team0:02:59 
5Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team0:03:17 
6Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:04:04 
7Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team0:04:27 
8Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team0:04:47 
9Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx - Quick-Step0:05:03 
10Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:05:16

Wine: Lingot Martin Bugey Cerdon 
Franklywines says: Pink, sparkling, the driest one on the market, but still with a touch of sweetness

From the producer
CUVEE "Sélectionnée"
Blended with 70% Gamay, the Poulsard grape brings a distinctive note of red fruit. Its delicate mousse and elegant sparkle make this a Cerdon to be shared with friends and family.

I say: Pink, sparkling and sweet indeed. I'm not generally a brunch drinker, but this would work well for day drinking. 

Food:  Fromager d'Affinois 
From SFGate: This Brie-like cow's milk cheese is made by a company that, 20 years ago, pioneered the use of ultrafiltration in cheesemaking. Ultrafiltration removes water from the pasteurized milk before cheesemaking, concentrating all the other components.
Thanks to ultrafiltration, every step of the cheesemaking process -- coagulation, unmolding, maturing -- can happen faster. A classic Brie takes about eight weeks to make; Fromager d'Affinois is ready in two weeks. 

I say: Creamy, rich and very tasty. 

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