Friday, July 7, 2017

Wine & Food of the Tour 2017 Stage 7

Where are we? Troyes / Nuits-Saint-Georges
Nuits-Saint-Georges: Burgundy! I am course, am thinking wine. But the local tourism site also tells me that: On the Route des Grands Crus, Nuits-Saint-Georges proudly presents its belfry. Famous for its wines, the city, whose nectar was prescribed to Louis XIV, has seen many well known figures pass through it: Francis I, Napoleon, and even the astronauts from the Apollo misions. The city is also the birthplace of the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin. Don’t miss the museum in an old winery.

Specialities: Burgundy wine, sparkling wine, liqueurs, red fruit, parsley ham, Bush de Nuits (Belgian beer matured in wooden casks that contained Nuits-Saint-Georges Burgundy)

The stage: Another expected sprint today.

While things are quiet, take a look at the insane lyft I rode in last night:

A post shared by amy cleary (@amybcleary) on

Meanwhile, back at the race, echelons ahead?

The commentators sure seem to be predicting echelons. Since we have the time, how about an explanation from a few years back?

From the Sky team site
Stages along coastal roads are often susceptible to winds blowing across the roads. A bunch can be riding comfortably only to turn a corner and immediately be placed under pressure. Being buffeted by wind is not a pleasant feeling on a bike, so it is no surprise that riders will seek refuge from the gust behind the nearest object they can, the rider closest to them. This creates the formation of what is known commonly as an echelon.

Quite simply the riders fan out across the road in a line with their front wheel over-lapping the rear of the rider in front of them. This shields the riders from the wind as it blows across the road, with the man at the very front of the group taking the brunt of the gust. That rider will do his turn and will then peel off and begin to file to the back of the group, creating what looks distinctly like a conveyer-belt from the air. Each rider will do a short, sharp turn and then rotate in what has become the most effective way of dealing with the difficult conditions.

A well-drilled group can use this to their advantage when it comes to placing their rivals under pressure. Anticipation is half the battle, with teams moving to the head of affairs so as not to be distanced. If a break forms in the peloton it can be almost impossible for riders to close down the gap. This often leads to a number of small groups strewn out across the road. In these situations experience can be key in learning to read the conditions and being on the front foot.

Fifty kilometers to go and the gap was around two minutes. That gap would drop quickly, as with forty kilometers, it was only one minute. Narrow roads have made the gc teams very attentive. 

Under thirty kilometers and the gap was around thirty seconds.
Although I was promised echelons, instead,  we would have the expected bunch sprint. And it was both a little strange and very close:

Wine:  Claire Naudin Myosotis Hautes Cotes de Nuits Rouge 2013 (Domaine Naudin-Ferrand)
From the producer: Our domain covers about 22 hectares of vineyard, some prestigious parcels in Aloxe, Ladoix, Echezeaux, Nuit St Georges, and 80% in regional appellations. Our history is intimately linked to the "Hautes-Côtes" appellation. Initially little known, the domain has developed following the birth of this appellation in 1961.
Claire Naudin took the Domain Naudin Ferrand in 1994 to shape it to her own personality. She believes in sustainable winemaking, and refuses standardization to return to traditional methods. Her wines deeply rooted in Burgundian tradition carry all her sensitivity, and a promise of a better future, including carbon accounting. As a woman winemaker, passionnate mother of 3, she wants to perpetuate what she has received.

Food: Murray's cheese, a great store and reference tells me that: You may not know it, but Epoisses is actually a French word meaning "completely worth the effort'' or "stinky but incredibly loveable" because the end result, a custardy bacon bomb, is oh-so-worth-it. One slurp of the intensely creamy paste of this French classic, and you'll know why we go to such lengths to ensure that this unctuous pasteurized cow's milk round, made in Burgundy, France, is so delightfully decadent. After near extinction in France during the World Wars, Epoisses de Bourgogne was resurrected in the 1950s by our beloved M. Berthaut. After being carefully hand-ladled into forms and dry-salted, each wheel takes a turn in French cave. Tucked into a clever wooden box meant to ease transport to our fair shores, serving Epoisses isn't nearly as difficult as aging it'slice a crusty baguette and dunk away, adding a glass of Burgundian white for terroir-driven perfection.

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