Friday, July 14, 2017

Wine & Food of the Tour 2017 Stage 13

Where are we? Saint-Girons / Foix 

Saint-Girons: The local tourist site tells me that: Settled at the foot of the mountains, St-Girons is the crossroad of the 18 Couserans valleys. According to several archeological findings, the antique capital of the Consorani (the Roman People) was situated on the exact location of Saint-Girons.
During the Middle Ages, different religious orders established: Benedictines, Dominicans (or Jacobins), Capuchines, Antonines (St-Antonin street), the St-John’s Hospitallers. During the XIIIth century, the Villefranche bastide town was created by Arnold of Spain, fourth Viscount of the Couserans.

During religious wars, the town was taken by Protestants who claimed a huge amount of money from its inhabitants. They withdrew on the Mount Garié and only payed half of the ransom. During the XVIIth century, Mr. Froideur, steward of Waters and Forests sent by Louis XV, as well as the Baron Haussmann, town Sub-prefect in 1840, report the importance of fairs and markets.

Specialities: cheese (Bethmale, Moulis, Pic de la Calabasse, Le Rogallais, Saint-Lary), croustade (pastry), charcuterie, jam.

Foix: Michelin tells me that: From a distance, Foix appears as a site bristling with high peaks and an impressive, austere castle whose three towers seem to stand guard over the mouth of the Ariège valley. Yet, Foix attracts tourists by its pleasant site with narrow streets and half-timbered houses. This pleasant town makes an ideal base camp for excursions into the routes Verte or Crouzette, which command wonderful panoramas of the region

Specialities: Pig liver sausage, azinat (stuffed cabbage), la mounjetado (enriched cassoulet), duck, Tomme des Pyrénées cheese

The stage: Christian Prudhomme's comment
Precisely 100. In terms of kilometres, never has such a short format been on the menu of the Tour since halfstages disappeared. It'll be a total contrast compared to what the riders witnessed on the previous day but the terrain will be just as favourable for, I hope, audacious initiatives. Dynamism linked to distance will be joined by a degree of difficulty in the climbs: the Col de Latrape followed by the Col d'Agnes and finally the Mur de Péguère and its gradients that can reach 18%.

Live:  Happy Bastille Day! LeTour will celebrate with a short, fast stage that may be dramatic. Why yes, Voeckler attacking from the start, along with Barguil. The early sprint point meant that they would be chased down.
Taking maximum points, Michael Matthews.
New break: Chavanel, Gilbert and DeMarchi. 

Splits in the peloton, many groups on the road. As promised, there has been a lot of action to start the stage. Unless you are watching NBCSN, where we have seen little but Fuglsang and his injury.
Barguil, Contador and Landa went off the front to chase DeMarchi. That is an interesting group.  They would catch DeMarchi and drop Barguil. 
Quintana attack, with company. 

Interesting that Sky has both Landa and Kwiatkowski up the road. A plan for later in the stage? Especially as Aru was already isolated.

Froome attack on the descent. A reminder to his rivals that rumors of his death may be exaggerated. How much is going on today? Race radio apparently has announced that there are 22 groups on the road. Fuglsang abandonment. You have to think it is for the best.

Barguil and Quintana would catch Contador and Landa. 
Behind, Froome attacks. There was Kwiatkowski waiting to help. Aru and the others would follow, minus Dan Martin.

Time to see how they descend. Attacks from Bardet and then Froome. This is super fun to watch.

Thirteen kilometers to go and the gap was two minutes to the four leaders.
Attacking out of the yellow jersey group: Uran. He would be brought back, though it was exciting for a bit of time. As he was caught, Dan Martin went.

So many attacks.
One kilometer to go for the lead four. Could the frenchman win on Bastille Day? Yes! Wow.

Wine:Fabien Jouves Mas del Perie Les Escures Cahors 2014
From Copake Wines
Some info: Cahors is the historic home of the Malbec grape and the limestone hillsides along the Lot river provide the perfect undergirding to the exuberant dark fruit this grape gives. Mas de Périé has been in the family for 4 generations and was passed on to Fabien Jouves just over 10 years ago.  The Les Escures, with half de-stemmed fruit and tank aging, has deep flavors of damson plum, black currant, black berry, smoke, and licorice. 

Food: Bethmale Cheese
From This is the best known of the traditional cow'milk cheeses from the Pyrénées. It is named after the village where it is made, in the Couserans region of the Comté de Foix. Legend has it that it was favoured by King Louis VI who went through the area in the XII century. Bethmale is probably the mildest of all cow's milk cheeses of the Pyrénées. The cheese has a semi-hard, uncooked pressed pâte and smells of the cellar. Affinage takes 2 to 3 months during which time the cheese is daily brushed and turned.

No comments:

Post a Comment