Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Wine and Food of the Tour de France 2018 Stage 10: Annecy to Le Grand-Bornand

Where are we?
Annecy: Let's go to a lake: Our area is internationally renowned for its beautiful harmonious landscape and for the fantastic quality of the water in the lake which, thanks to the efforts made to protect it for over 50 years, is now the purest in Europe.
Visitors can enjoy a wide choice of sporting and cultural activities in both summer and winter in this wonderful setting. From water activities (such as swimming, sailing, water-skiing or diving) and cycling (thanks to a safe cycle route running alongside the lake for over 40km) to mountain activities (hiking, mountain biking, via-ferrata, canyoning or paragliding) - everything is possible !
As for cultural activities, there are plenty of museum tours, castles, guided tours and exhibitions. In fact, Annecy and its suburbs have received the much-coveted "Art and History" label.
The pure, clear water flows from the lake into the canals running through the "old town" (Annecy's historic centre), giving it its picturesque appearance of the "Venice of the Alps".
The most famous local products are cheeses, the closest to Annecy are Reblochon and Tome des Bauges. There is another important speciality : the chocolate factories are famous, in particular with the "Roseau" filled with mountain liqueur!
LeTour specialties: Tartiflette, fondue, diots (sausages), roseaux du lac (chocolate and liqueur)

Le Grand-Bornand:  The local tourist site tells me:  The enduring charm of a mountain village: In the heart of the Aravis Mountains, in the Haute-Savoie ideally located between Mont-Blanc, Lake Annecy, and Switzerland, Le Grande-Bornand provides the best the Alps have to offer.

Le Grand-Bornand is a great place to visit in summer and winter as well as a genuinely charming village where life bustles all year round. Nature just works out well sometimes. It all starts with the Aravis Mountains, which provide a magnificent backdrop that culminates with the 2750-meter high Pointe Percée, the range's emblematic peak from which pleasant, verdant, wooded, and gentle contours descend all the way to the village.
The town sits at two distinct elevations: Le Grand-Bornand Village is located at 1000 meters, a typical Savoyard village with its outdoor market, central plaza, church, and shops, as well as the spectacular Bouchet Valley in the background, at the foot of the Aravis Mountains, an ideal location for Nordic skiing.
Six kilometers further up the road leading to Col de la Colombière Pass is Le Grand-Bornand Chinaillon. Located at 1300 meters elevation,  and serving as the main base area for alpine skiing, the well-preserved historic village center dates back to the 17th century.
Enjoying such a favorable layout at two elevations, the village unites around the inhabitants' overwhelming connection to the land, to tradition, and to modernity.
This pervasive quality of Le Grand-Bornand can be seen in the ever-present farming way of life, and in the wonderful balance established between the locals and the surrounding environment. With more than 400 chalets several centuries old, examples of the unique local know-how and a sense of practicality that has become a modern aesthetic benchmark, the resort ensures that any expansion respects this heritage.
LeTour specialties: Reblochon fermier (almost half of the total production within the AOP product-protected area), bescoin (brioche-type bread with aniseed and saffron that’s shared during the 15 August festival)

The stage: Here's hoping the rest day was, well, restful because today's stage should be an intense welcome to the Alps. As you can see from the profile above, it is time for the race to start climbing and the organizers have planned a challenging first day in the mountains. For the viewers at home, the mountains are great fun to watch, but for the riders, it will be a very hard start to this year's climbing.

In the neutral section a crash involving Gaviria and Landa. Not a good way to start the day at all. Once they are truly off lots of action trying to get the break established. There are numerous attempts but the peloton is choosy today and chases them down. In particular, Alaphilippe seemed very determined, making multiple efforts. The break group that did eventually form was 21 strong and included the yellow jersey, the green jersey, Alaphilippe, Gilbert and Gesink. 
Per the official race ticker, the group was: Tony Gallopin (AG2R), Elie Gesbert and Amaël Moinard (Cofidis), Ion Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida), Jack Bauer and Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott), Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), Julian Alaphilippe and Philippe Gilbert (Quick Step), Peter Sagan and Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe), Serge Pauwels and Tom-Jelte Slagter (Dimension Data), David Gaudu, Rudy Molard and Arthur Vichot (Groupama-FDJ), Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo), Lilian Calmejane and Rein Taaramäe (Direct Energie), Guillaume Martin and Thomas Degand (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) form the front group.At 127 kilometers to go, they had 2:20 on the Sky led peloton.
Interesting to see that missing from that group are both Sky and Movistar.


Already though, riders were heading off both the front and back of that break. 
Time to see, I suppose, who was interested in the polka dot jersey.


Molard would take the kom points and be in virtual dots.
Meanwhile, the traveling press is eating well.


Back on the road:


Way behind, Mark Cavendish, who was apparently already eight minutes behind the main bunch. I'm sticking with my missing Bernie Eisel theory.

Impressive field art:


Along the road today, some weirdness:


Plus super fancy field art:


Meanwhile, with 93 kilometers to go, the eight at the front had 4:30 on the peloton with chasers in between. 91 kilometers to go and they had company with 13 in the lead with 5:40 over the main peloton. Jumping from that group, Alaphilippe in search of kom points. he would get them. Gravel road alert!
When the peloton reached that gravel, a mechanical for Froome. He would catch back on quickly.
Would it turn into a day for the break?

With 67 kilometers to go, that lead group had grown to 18 with just over 8 minutes on the main peloton. 62 kilometers to go and that gap was 7:30 over the Sky led peloton. 48 kilometers to go and it was at 7 minutes.
Coming soon:

As they climbed, the front group fell apart quickly.
More strangeness over the riders:

On the road:

Catching Taaramea, Alaphilippe. He clearly ate his Wheaties this morning and dropped Taaramae in his effort to collect more KOM points. He was also fun to watch descend.

The PodiumCafe crowd tells me this about Alaphilippe today, from Swedish Eurosport: "If his dentist is watching now , Ala can give the annual checkup a miss."

Little action in the gc group, though some are struggling to hold on, including
Zakarin, Jungels and Uran. 
First over the Col de la Colombiere, Alaphilippe and he would be in polka dots tonight. All downhill for him now.
LeTour is confident:


First stage win for the French in this Tour with style. Plus, polka dots.
Pretty impressive to see GVA in yellow, who was expected to lose yellow today, come in fourth. Instead, he gained time.

The big loser on the day: Uran. he lost time to all of his gc rivals. Keep a finger or two crossed for the grupetto. LeTour reports that: The grupetto with the likes of Groenewegen, Kittel & Cavendish needs to average 36.4km/h in the last 17km of stage 10 to make it to Le Grand-Bornand inside the time cut-off. Yikes. 
Important update:



General classification after stage 10
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team40:34:28
2Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky0:02:22
3Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team0:03:10
4Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team0:03:12
5Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors0:03:20
6Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky0:03:21
7Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott
8Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar Team
9Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:03:27
10Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo0:03:36

The wine:  Les Grangeons de l'Albarine Combernand La Cluse des Peintres Aligote 2014
From CopakeWineWorks
Christy says: An engineer by training, Luc Bauer has set out to breathe new life into his little corner of the Bugey, the Côteau d'Argis in the Albarine Valley. Back in 1900, there were over 100 hectars of vines in this part of the Albarine Valley. Today, it’s less than 2 ha. Since 2014, Luc has been acquiring small parcels of vines which he works biodynamically, as well as an old barn, known locally as a Grangeons, which he is renovating into winemaking cellar. In 2015, he was able to quit his day job and focus full time on his wine projects. But 2016 didn’t turn out quite as planned. Terrible weather and even worse heath resulted in no wine to sell and a long stint in hospital. But 2017 was a year of recovery and with any luck, we’ll have more of Luc’s wines to sell soon. In the meantime, for those who want a little Bugey in our lives, we'll have to make due with the last bits of what we have on hand.

Food: Fondue
There are all sorts of fondue recipes out there, but we make our home version in this very not technical way:
Grate whichever hard cheeses you have lingering in your cheese drawer.
Heat grated cheese and a generous slug of wine in a pan on your stovetop until the cheese is melted and the mixture boils. 
Add a sprinkle of cornstarch and mix well. The mixture should start to thicken, if not add some more cornstarch.
Pour into your fondue pot and dig in.

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