Sunday, July 9, 2017

Wine & Food of the Tour Stage 9

Where are we? Nantua / Chambéry 

Nantua: Michelin tells me that: Nantua and its large lake escaping from an imposing cluse carpeted with fir trees make up a site that is full of character, listed since 1936. The lake offers a range of water sports. The town is famous for its quenelles de brochet with Nantua sauce, as well as its interesting cultural heritage: the Abbatiale St Michel, which houses a splendid St Sebastian by Eugène Delacroix, and the poignant museum dedicated to Resistance: Musée de la Résistance et de la Déportation de l'Ain et du Haut-Jura.

Specialities: Nantua sauce based on crayfish butter to accompany fish dumplings, Bugey wine (AOC, listed as a Vignobles et Découvertes wine and region to discover in 2017)

Chambéry: Michelin tells me that: The capital of a sovereign state up until the 16th Century, Chambéry is today the administrative and commercial capital of the region. The old quarter, tastefully restored, has passageways which are a local slant on the i/traboules/i and are a stone's throw away from the alpine parks of Vanoise, Chartreuse and Bauges.

Specialities: Crozets (square pasta), Tome des Bauges cheese, creation of the first chocolate truffle in 1895, Savoie gateau, Savoy wines (AOC), vermouth.

The stage: Christian Prudhomme's comment
Even in the Alps and the Pyrenees, climbs with average gradients of close to 10% on their entire length are pretty rare. There will be three on this Jura stage with a total ascending elevation of 4600 metres. The riders will first discover the climb up the Col de la Biche, followed by the unprecedented and fearsome side of the Grand Colombier, known as the Directissime (gradients up to 22%), and will finish the battle off with the Mont du Chat, not on the Tour map since 1974. It'll be a real...

Live:Up they will go, in a stage that has been called the most challenging of the race or the queen stage in cycling lingo.
As you can see, there are some downhills, but they are matched by some very unpleasant climbs. 
The word of the day is crash. 
The break of the day is huge:  Jan Bakelants, Axel Domont, Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R-La Mondiale), Jesus Herrada, Carlos Betancur (Movistar), Bauke Mollema, Jarlinson Pantano (Trek-Segafredo), Alessandro De Marchi, Amaël Moinard (BMC), Bakhtiar Kozhatayev, Alexey Lutsenko (Astana), Kristjian Durasek, Vegard Stake Laengen (UAE), Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), Michael Albasini (Orica-Scott), Pawel Poljanski (Bora-Hansgrohe), Robert Kiserlovski, Tiago Machado (Katusha-Alpecin), Tiejs Benoot, Thomas De Gendt, Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Soudal), Michael Matthews, Warren Barguil, Simon Geschke, Laurens ten Dam (Sunweb), Nicolas Edet, Dani Navarro (Cofidis), Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo), Thomas Voeckler, Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie), Pierre Rolland, Dylan Van Baarle (Cannondale-Drapac), Tsgabu Grmay, Javier Moreno (Bahrain-Merida) Brice Feillu et Pierre-Luc Périchon .
But as I said, the word of the day is crash and victims include Mori, Gesink, Herrada, Geraint Thomas and Majka. Given the speed of the descents and the state of the roads, more were probably to come.
Demare, by the way, who made it through yesterday was apparently already nineteen minutes back.
The new lead group: Bakelants (AG2R), Vuillermoz (AG2R), Barguil (SUN), Pantano (TFS), Benoot (LTS), Poljanski (BOH) and  Domont (AG2R). Keep in mind though that this again is one of those groups all over the road stages.
Word from further back that Geraint Thomas is stopped by the side of the road, with the race doctor and a team car. Into the medical car he went. Oh, G. 

This climb is truly brutal. Crash for Contador, but he was back up quickly with some pushes from roadside fans.
The yellow jersey group has gotten very small: Porte is the only BMC rider in the main group, while Quintana is the only one from Movistar. Despite Thomas crash, Sky still has numbers.
Ahead, Waren Barguil is first at the top of Grand Colombier. Yellow jersey group six minutes behind.
All of this action and there are still more than eighty kilometers to go.
Sun! As there is some regrouping at the front on the descent. They have many miles of flat before the next big climb and staying together may help them stay away. 


After some more regrouping, the front group contained: Bakelants,Barguil, Matthews, Benoot, Gallopin, Mollema, Pantano, Vuillermoz, Geschke, Roglic, Navarro, and Betancur.  Seventy kms to go, 4'51 gap. 
Mechanical problems for Quintana with his lack of teammates, he's got to go through the race convoy all by himself. 

Not surprisingly, Matthews won at the sprint point. A rather uncontested win.
After the sprint, Bakelants and Gallopin took the lead.

Still ahead:

As they approached the climb, the pace in the yellow jersey went up. Ahead:

Just after that image, Gallopin attacked and road solo. 
Time for attacks from the bunch. First up: Aru, followed by Quintana and Porte. Mechanical for Froome! Froome does have teammates to help him come back. The replay clearly shows Aru going after Fromme raised his hand for help. However, they would come together again after Aru's group slowed to wait. Cue polemica. There would be a little bit of calm before new attacks. Those attacks would both drop Contador and leave Froome isolated for the first time in quite a while. Porte picking up the pace, only Froome, Aru, Quintana, Uran, Bardet and Dan Martin left in the group. 
Froome attacks! Aru and Quintana dropped, though Aru would claw back. Keep in mind, there will be a descent ahead. 

Ahead, Barguil crests the mountain with a 21 second lead.
The yellow jersey group contains: Froome, Porte, Uran, Martin, Aru , Bardet, and Fuglsang. Crash! Martin and Porte. And that was very ugly. Martin up, but Porte looked very hurt. Neck brace for him, but he does appear to be conscious.

Ahead, Barguil and Bardet come together, then Froome, Fuglsang, Uran, and Aru. Mechanical for Uran. The neutral service car was attempting to help him, but he may need a new bike. Ahead: Bardet solo.
27" to Bardet. 9.3k to go. Uran taking up the pacemaking because he can't easily go any slower with his gearing issues. Froome isolated but Fuglsang and Aru are working  with him as none of them want to lose time to Bardet.

They would catch Bardet. Time to fight for time bonuses.
Photo finish!

Wine: Les Grangeons de l'Albarine Mondeuse Le Chateau 2014
From the producer:
Les Grangeons de l'Albarine Wine estate is composed nowadays of an approx. 5 acres vineyards, located on different sites of Bugey area. The main location is Argis south facing slopes, divided in two different terroirs: Le Chateau, and Paradis, cultivated with three grapes varities: Altesse (also known as Roussette) and Chardonnay  for whites, and Mondeuse for reds.
Another vineyard is located in Rossillon on gravely flat soils, with 50 years old gamay, chardonnay and aligoté. A third site is St Sorlin en Bugey , on slopes facing the Rhône valley, with old vines (60 years old) of gamay and altesse. Finally, a last plot is in Ceyzerieu, with 20 years old Maondeuse and Chasselas.

Food: Gateau de Savoie
The local website says: A true gâteau de Savoie is a very light sponge cake cooked in a fluted mould that has been lined with butter and sprinkled with flour and sugar in order to give the finished cake a thin and crispy crust.
It can be filled with jam or covered with cream.

We used the Dorie Greenspan recipe from Baking Chez Moi. 

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