Sunday, May 6, 2018

Giro 2018 Stage 3: Be'ewr Sheva to Eliat

 Where are we?

Be'ewr Sheva: the Giro tells me that Be’er Sheva, located in Southern Israel, is the largest city in the Negev – often called the Gateway to the Negev region – and the main town of the Southern District.

Eliat:  Located in the southernmost tip of Israel on the Red Sea, Eilat is an important Israeli harbour, a very high-standard tourism resort enjoying a mild climate due to the sub-tropical characteristics of the Red Sea. With its 50,000 inhabitants, the city is in the southern part of the Negev.

The stage: 226km from Be’er Sheva to Eilat, on the Red Sea, heading south. After the start, the only gentle climbs lead the peloton to the Negev Desert and then to the Red Sea coast. Once past the town of Mitzpe Ramon, a long descent leads towards the finish in Eilat.

Some excited viewers in the desert today.



 A long stage today that has been quiet enough that some viewers may have nodded off. Honestly, I haven't heard the Eurosport announcers so bored in quite a while. I believe I heard "it has been a long day for everybody," at least ten times.
Around thirty kilometers to go and talk of crosswinds. Maybe we could have echelons? Viewers can dream. Indeed, a few riders off the back of the peloton. Sadly, it didn't last.
Coming up, many roundabouts. Twenty kilometers to go and the break still had about a minute, as none of the teams had wanted to catch them sooner. Tension for the first time today, with the roundabouts and sprint finish. 
Lots of speed as they close in on ten kilometers to go and once again, riders dropped. Yikes! Speed bumps at 70 kph must hurt. Six kilometers to go and the break was caught. Speaking of yikes, despite some stress and a close call with the barriers, another win for Viviani. Might be possible for Bennett to be relegated for that. 

Wine: Domaine du Castel Petit Castel  from Copake Wine Works     From the producer: In 1988, almost by chance, Eli Ben Zaken planted the first modern-day vineyard to be found in the Judean Hills, in the backyard of his home in Ramat Raziel. Within four years’ time, family and close friends came together to harvest the grapes that would become the winery’s very first wine – Castel Grand Vin 1992.  Petit Castel is Domaine du Castel’s second wine.The strains used to create this wine are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. The wine is set to mature in French oak barrels for approximately 12 months, followed by approx. 4 months in concrete tanks, prior to bottling.

The Petit Castel is a full-bodied wine, bearing a hint of tannin and a harmonic fruity-oak balance, with a deep royal purple color. The wine is at its peak about 3-5 years from harvest and decanting is recommended before serving.

Food: Shakshuka
Essentially, baked eggs in a tomato and vegetable sauce. Two recommended recipes:

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