Saturday, May 5, 2018

Giro 2018 Stage 2 Haifa to Tel Aviv

Where are we?
Haifa: The Giro tells me that: Haifa is the third largest city in Israel, an important commercial and passenger harbour and an active centre for Hi-tech industry. Haifa is built in a bay that forms a natural port and, laying at the foot of Mount Carmel, has expanded and reached the top of the hill, at an altitude of about 200 m, in its recent development

Tel Aviv: The Giro tells me: Tel Aviv, located along the Mediterrenian coastline, is the centre of the largest and most populated metropolitan area in Israel, called Gush Dan (Dan’s Block). It is the main economic centre in Israel and a bustling city with its pleasure-seeking and entertainment flair, that celebrated its first century only in 2009. For a lot more, read the Podium Cafe write up.

The stage: The first in-line stage from Haifa to Tel Aviv, 167km long, is on Saturday 5 May. After the start, the route undulates around Acri and includes the first GPM (KOM) of 2018 Giro in Zikron Yakov. The second part of the route is substantially flat on wide roads, with the last few kilometres partly within the city of Tel Aviv and the finish line on the straight seafront.

A sprint stage for the somewhat less prestigious sprint field. The marque sprinters, having looked at the route map, are either heading to the Tour of California or resting from injuries. 
The first break of the Giro:

Nearing the climb point for the day, the break disappeared as teams wanted the jersey. Crowd control was an issue.

 At the second sprintermediate, Rohan Dennis takes points and the bonus, meaning that if he finishes with the front bunch, he should be in pink tomorrow. Nice work BMC. 
And, well, we watched this for a long time:

Oh, sprint stages. So flat, so long.

Hey, sprint trains. Time to wake up. Will we have a first sprint stage of a grand tour incident or will it be textbook for Viviani and team? Time to find out. 
Lots of spectators in the road and that road is doing a find job of wide, narrow, wide, narrow. Nervous times. And despite some lousy positioning in the last kilometer, Viviani with the win.


Wine:  Galil Viognier from Copake Wine Works  From the producer:
In the Upper Galilee, near Kibbutz Yiron, we discovered the beauty of a free-flowing connection with nature. Experiencing this connection led to the establishment of a winery whose approach and actions are free and creative.  We work with nature, generating sustainable relationships with the earth and the vineyards growing from within it. It’s important for us to maintain that which exists. To serve life in this environment. To give back. 

 I say: Stone fruit, flowers and honey.

Food: Zahav’s Hummus ‘Tehina’ 

From Michael Solomonov in the The New York Times

  • Yield 4 cups
  • Time 30 minutes, plus overnight soaking and 1 to 1 1/2 hours cooking


  • 1 cup dried chickpeas
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • Juice of 1 1/2 large lemons (about 1/3 cup), more to taste
  • 2 to 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 ¾ teaspoons kosher salt, more to taste
  • 1 cup sesame tahini
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin, more to taste
  • Paprika, for serving
  • Olive oil, for serving
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for serving


  1. In a bowl, cover chickpeas by at least 2 inches of cold water. Add 1 teaspoon baking soda and let soak at room temperature overnight. Drain and rinse.
  2. In a medium pot, cover soaked chickpeas by at least 4 inches of water. Add the remaining teaspoon baking soda and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium high and let cook at a vigorous simmer until chickpeas are quite soft, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. (Overcooked chickpeas are the secret to creamy hummus, so don’t worry if they start to break down a little.) Drain.
  3. While chickpeas are cooking, make the tahini sauce. In a blender, combine the lemon juice, garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Let mixture sit 10 minutes. Add tahini, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and the cumin, and blend until a thick paste forms. Add 1/3 to 2/3 cup ice water while blender is running, a little at a time, until sauce is smooth. You’re looking for a perfectly smooth, creamy sauce.
  4. Add the warm, drained chickpeas to blender with tahini mixture. Blend until perfectly smooth and not at all grainy, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl occasionally. This blending may take upward of about 2 minutes; just keep going until the mixture is ultracreamy and fluffy, adding a little water if you need it to make the contents of the blender move. Taste for seasonings, adding more salt, lemon juice and/or cumin as needed.
  5. To serve, spread the hummus on a plate, dust with paprika, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with parsley. 

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