Sunday, October 25, 2020

Wine and Food of the Giro 2020: Stage 21 Cernusco sul Naviglio to Milano

Where are we?
Cernusco sul Naviglio is located 16km east of Milan (Lombardy), with about 35,000 inhabitants with an average age of just over 40 years and about 6,500 under 18. There are more than 2,200 companies and about 320 shops. Over time the city has developed according to a harmonious urban design, around two fundamental areas: the large historic center made pedestrian in the 80s where there are more than 100 shops and numerous associative spaces; the monumental axis of the Naviglio, with the section of the 32 km cycle path that connects Milan to Trezzo d’Adda and the large green areas for outdoor sports. 
Cernusco sul Naviglio has been awarded as ‘European City of Sport 2020’ from Aces Europe last December 2019 in Brussels at the European Parliament.

MilanoWorld capital of fashion and design, Milan lives poised between a centuries-long historical and cultural tradition and a creative stance looking forward to innovation and the world at large. Its destiny is already in its name, Mediolanum, meaning “place in the middle” between different territories and peoples, a hub for trade and commerce from the very beginning. Born as a Celtic village it has been through the centuries the Capital of the Western half of the Roman Empire, a major Renaissance Court at the time of Ludovico il Moro and Leonardo da Vinci, a place of plunder for French, Spaniards, Austrians – finally to be annexed to the Kingdom of Italy in 1861.  From the 18th century to the present Milan has never ceased to renew its look, from the Neo-Classical lines of Teatro alla Scala to the sumptuous Galleria Vittorio Emanuele and finally to the high-rise of its skyscrapers that, from Gio Ponti to the international archistars, have re-drawn its skyline.

SpecialtiesTradition and innovation also co-exist in the Milan of taste, between ancient recipes and contemporary gourmet versions. History is represented by risotto alla milanese, with marrowbone steak and saffron rice, mondeghili (fried meatballs), rostin negàa (roast doused in white wine). The typical Christmas cake is Panettone, now famous throughout the world.
Milan provides cooking for every taste and every budget: 20 Michelin-starred restaurants, countless trattorie, local eateries, vegetarian, romantic, traditional and ethnic. But also bars and pubs to celebrate the rite of aperitivo in the evening, with elaborate cocktails and tasty finger food.

The stage: A final 15.7 kilometer stage time trial with two riders on essentially the same time? Had you told the organizers this is where we would be on stage 21, they would have cheered.
Our early stage leader, Scotson at  17'57”. He would be removed from the hot seat by Campenaerts at: 17'48", and and average speed of52.921 kmph.

Meanwhile, riding his last stage today, one of the most interesting men in the peloton. 
In at 17:16, Ganna. One would expect that to be the winning time, though Dennis was yet to ride.
Dennis in at provisionally third.
On the hot seat, it is snack time:
Meanwhile, back at the start ramp:
Ahead, Almeida was on a good day and was likely moving up the final gc list.
Behind, Geoghegan Hart was looking good. It was not surprising, but Hindley was looking to be heading for second place.
In at 18:14 Tao Geoghegan Hart.


Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Filippo Ganna (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers17:16:55
2Victor Campenaerts (Bel) NTT Pro Cycling0:00:32
3Rohan Dennis (Aus) Ineos Grenadiers
4Joao Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-Quickstep0:00:41
5Miles Scotson (Aus) Groupama-FDJ
6Josef Cerny (Cze) CCC Team0:00:44
7Chad Haga (USA) Team Sunweb
8Brandon McNulty (USA) UAE Team Emirates0:00:46
9Kamil Gradek (Pol) CCC Team0:00:47
10Jan Tratnik (Slo) Bahrain McLaren

Final GC:

The wine
Sorelle Bronca Prosecco Extra Dry
Bubbles to finish things.
From the importerThis organically grown, estate-bottled sparkling wine is made primarily of the Prosecco grape with small amounts of the traditional indigenous varieties Perera, Verdiso and Bianchetta. The 'bulk process,' a secondary fermentation in a pressurized tank rather than in the individual bottle, is used. The vinification is unusual for Prosecco; instead of two seperate fermentations, (grape juice to still wine, then still wine to sparkling wine), the Bronca Sister’s Prosecco grapes are pressed and the juice is held at very low temperatures until it is ready to be made into sparkling wine (done periodically throughout the year to maintain the freshest possible stock) upon which time the must is put into a special fermenter and fermented directly to sparkling wine. This more costly single fermentation process retains more of the classic pear aroma that makes Prosecco distinctive. No sugar is added, all of the sweetness comes from the must. A number of batches are produced during the year to ensure freshness, and we import the wine frequently for the same reason. Prosecco is best drunk as fresh as possible.

Notes: pale straw color with a hint of green; very distinctive classic Prosecco aroma of fresh-cut pear; the pear/apple fruit notes continue on the palate, with the Extra Dry level of sweetness very well balanced by fresh acidity. I drink Sorelle Bronca with some olives and a slice of salami while I am deciding what to make for dinner, but it would also be good with a light lunch or just by itself, unlike most Italian wines.

The food:
 Panna Cotta
Ending in pink. Panna cotta is one of those so simple desserts that I should make more often. Dissolve gelatin in water and then combine that mixture with warm cream with vanilla and sugar. You can add other flavors, but the simple version is my favorite. For the Giro, we served it with raspberries.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Wine and Food of the Giro 2020 Stage 20: Alba to Sestriere

Where are we?
AlbaAlba, Creative Cities of UNESCO, is nestled in the hills of Southern Piedmont, not far from Turin and Milan. Alba is as the “capital” of the area, the heart of the gastronomic Langhe Roero district, renowned for its excellent products, increasingly sought after as a tourist destination.

The specialitiesThe city and the surroundings provide us with a rich gastronomic offer: wine cellars, wine bars, farmhouses, inns and restaurants; you just have to choose where to start your journey through the tastes and flavors of our cuisine. The Alba White Truffle is the King of the culinary world.
People coming to the Langhe Monferrato Roero region know what to expect: beautiful landscapes, excellent food&wine and high-level hospitality. Food and wine are the traditional attractions of the area; important wines, like Barolo, Barbaresco, Barbera d’Asti and Moscato d’Asti, are served with local dishes: countless starters, homemade pasta like tajarin, ravioli al “plin” and agnolotti, fassone tartare, PDO cheeses (i.e. Robiola di Roccaverano), that can be enhanced by an Alba White Truffle shave.
Last but not least, the desserts made with Nocciola Piemonte PGI, such as the hazelnut cake and the bunet (a traditional chocolate pudding to be eaten by the spoon).

SestriereSummit of the Piedmont Olympic mountains and the Vialattea ski area, from the height of 2,035 meters, the Municipality of Sestriere is located on the homonymous hill straddling the Val Chisone and the Valle di Susa. It is dominated to the northwest by Mount Fraiteve (2,701 m), to the southeast by Mount Sises (2,658 m), Punta Rognosa di Sestriere (3,280 m) and Mount Motta (2,850 m). Sestriere is a renowned and safe point of reference for national and international tourism also thanks to the image it has been able to conquer over the years by successfully hosting major sporting events. From the Ski World Cup, to the 1997 World Ski Championships, to the Turin 2006 Winter Olympics and Paralympics: Sestriere is the ski resort that has hosted the largest number of internationally titled races.

SpecialitiesSimple or refined, strong or delicate, the flavors of our mountains are an integral part of a stay. In fact, the local gastronomic tradition is perfectly combined with selected cards of the best wines of Italy. From the most popular to the most renowned labels to accompany delicious dishes.

The stage: Our final road stage of the Giro has arrived and our break was large.  The 21 were: 
Bouchard, Vendrame, Tratnik, Fiorelli, Malecki, Viviani, Ballerini, Honore, Serry, Kangert, Demare, Guglielmi, Cimolai, Holmes, Rubio, Villella, Gebreigzabhier, Sobrero, Bernard, Conci, and McNulty.
Eventually launching from that group: Ballerini. Behind, the gc group was falling apart. Otherwise known as: small groups on the road. With Dennis pushing, Kelderman would lose contact. His teammate Hindely would go with the Dennis led group.
At the front of the race, Rubio was solo.
Twenty kilometers to go and the group of Dennis, Hindley and Geoghegan Hart had around 40 seconds over the pink jersey group. Still over a minute ahead, Rubio.
All of the groups would pick up riders from the early break. Sometimes they could hang on for a little while. Ahead, Rubio had been caught by Ballerini and Serry. They would soon be caught by the Dennis led group. Nine kilometers to go and they had 1:29 over the pink jersey group.
At the sprint point, Hindley would gain one second over Geoghegan Hart. Under five kilometers to go and the gap was under 1:30. Four kilometers and 1:07 as Nibali dropped form that second group. Jumping from that group Almeida.
First attack by Hindley and they would bring him back. He would keep attacking. Dropping from the duo, Dennis. But he would make it back. Trying again, Hindley.
Sprint finish between the two and Geoghegan Hart with the win. They would go into tomorrow's time trial with the same time.
The GC going into the final stage time trial tomorrow:

The wineAlessandro e Gian Natale Fantino Barolo Vigna Vecchie Vigna dei Dardi
From the importer:  If you are not yet familiar with brothers Alessandro and Gian Natale Fantino of Monforte d’Alba, here is a great opportunity to meet these Barolo veterans. Natives of Piemonte, they boast extensive experience crafting old-school, terroir-driven Nebbiolo. Alessandro managed winemaking for twenty years at the esteemed Bartolo Mascarello estate, before ultimately teaming up with his brother in the family cellars as the fratelli focused exclusively on their own production.
    The Fantino holdings in the steep Bussia vineyard of Monforte are crucial to this endeavor. They sustainably work old vines in the small Dardi sub-section, a perfectly exposed plot that gives rich, structured Barolo as good young as it is old. The traditionalist ways in the cellar, with spontaneous fermentations and an eschewal of new oak, only serve to highlight the impeccably farmed fruit from this time-tested site.

The food: Why not try making homemade agnolotti? But to be honest, I had a crazy work week and ordered some froze from Cotogna to eat at home. I have no regrets. 

Friday, October 23, 2020

Wine and Food of the Giro 2020 Stage 19: Morbegno to Asti

Where are we?
Morbegno, dynamic town, is rightly considered the “gate of Valtellina”: any itinerary in the territory of the most important Lombard valley can only start from here. The peculiarities of its environment make it an attraction for every type of tourism: alpine, cultural, artistic and food and wine. A paradise for mountaineers, skiers and hikers, the cradle of Valtellinese culinary art, Morbegno – as well as being the home of the Mostra del Bitto, the famous cheese made from fresh milk processed in summer in high mountain huts – is also a village rich in history and traditions. The historic center, with its churches, its palaces and its characteristic districts, invites you to take long walks, with an obligatory stop in any of the many taverns, wineries or many restaurants that celebrate the Valtellinese flavors. In a place like Morbegno, where nature is so intimately linked to local taste and culture, the Civic Museum of Natural History finds its ideal location, known as the most important scientific museum in the province of Sondrio and one of the most active in Lombardy which collects fossil and mineral finds from the entire valley. The city was awarded the title Alpine City of the year 2019. 


The historical event of Asti has been characterized since the beginning by its peculiar commercial vocation linked to the centrality with respect to the communication routes between the Ligurian coast, the Po valley and alpine passes.The foundation of Hasta dates back to 125-123 BC, years of the military campaigns of the consul Marco Fulvio Flacco in southern Piedmont. Located along via Fulvia – commissioned by Flacco himself, from which it took its name – in less than a century Hasta becomes a colony and develops into a populous and economically lively center, thanks also to the quality of its best known products, wine amphorae and terracotta pots exported everywhere, as Pliny the Elder writes, “by sea and by land”.Like other colonies in southern Piedmont, Hasta undergoes a progressive demographic and economic impoverishment starting from the third century. A.D., but also records new religious and social ferments with the establishment in the middle of the fourth century. of a Christian community, destined to soon become diocese.Episcopal see organized and attested already in 451 AD, when in 568 the Lombards descended to Italy, Asti for at least three centuries has seen its population drop and lost its prosperity, but once again its geographical position of the city, combined with the palatability of its fertile lands, pushes the Lombards to establish one of the four Piedmontese duchies in Asti, certainly one of the most important in Italy if the first known Duke of Asti is Gondoaldo, brother of Queen Teodolinda. 
With the arrival of the Franks at the end of the eighth century, the committee was governed by the duchy, governed by a count, that is an official of imperial appointment. After the death of Charlemagne, the progressive disintegration of the Empire and its organizational structures meant that in Asti, as in other peripheral realities, a large part of public goods became the patrimony of the Church and that, little by little, the authority of the bishop replaces the public administration in decay. And the Church will play an important role for Asti, ensuring even in the most difficult centuries of the city’s history that minimum of civil organization indispensable to a city.In the IX and X sec. the bishops of Asti, in addition to guaranteeing the functioning of Asti, implement a promotion policy towards the emerging classes of the city dedicated in particular to trade. The “rebirth” of the Asti trade is probably due precisely to the meeting of urban merchant needs with the organizational direction given by the bishop: this mutual exchange will lead to an institutional transformation of local powers and the affirmation of an orderly and stable structure from which both local and longer-term trade will benefit greatly.
In the following century, the birth of the Municipality (1095) sanctioned the formal recognition by the bishop of the ability to self-govern these new social and economic forces.In 1141 the emperor Corrado III recognized in Asti the ius faciendi monetam, the right to beat one’s own currency.With the certainty of a “strong” currency, the trafficking of the Astigiani, along the Genoa-Oltralpe route, intensified, also in consideration of the fact that Asti had become for Genoa the indispensable intermediary in trade between the sea and Liguria and the ‘internal.The merchandise and money from Asti arrived almost everywhere in the fairs of small and large centers in Europe, from Burgundy to Champagne to the kingdom of France, and from there to the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, with certificates also in Pannonia , Spain and England.The municipal period sees Asti reach the peak of its political and economic power: the Municipality in fact extends its jurisdiction over much of southern Piedmont, while great wealth flows into the city thanks to the resourcefulness of its merchants, who were also soon pre-paid. In 1226, in fact, according to the testimony of the chronicler Ogerio Alfieri, the credit activity of the families of the “Lombards” of Asti began, operating at home in the government of one of the main municipalities in the Po Valley and exercising, at European level, a function prominent in the international credit market.
The attestation of the Palio custom, which took place that year near the walls of Alba, dates back to 1275 after the Asti victory over the Albesi during the conflict between Asti and Angiò and their respective allies in the region.At the end of the thirteenth century, Ogerio Alfieri, in weaving the praise of the “powerful municipality that dominates most of southern Piedmont”, notes that the property value declared in the land register by the taxpayers of Asti amounted to about half a million lire of real estate, while citizens’ securities capital reached an extraordinary figure of over two million lire in the Registrum (or land register).Over the course of just over a century Asti became so rich and splendid that it was known throughout Europe. Between the second half of the thirteenth century and 1348 the town was reorganized: an imposing city wall was built, noble families built majestic palaces and raised towers, the Cathedral was restored (1266: construction of the bell tower; 1309: interventions on the presbytery; 1348: conclusion of works). Asti is politically weakened by the first internal struggles, but remains the collector of enormous wealth: the Lombards of Asti become bankers and coiners of the Pope (1342-1362), finance the English crown (1338-1356) and operate as bankers of the Aragonese rulers (1391) ; Simone di Mirabello, son of an Asti banker and treasurer of the Duke of Brabant, was regent of Flanders between 1340 and 1346.
The great wealth of the city catalyzes on Asti the expansionist aims of the emerging lordships of the Po valley: after a few decades of oscillating relationships of the urban magnatice class with the Marquis Monferrato and the Visconti, in 1387 the city and its territory, pass to the Orléans as a gift of Valentina, daughter of Gian Galeazzo Visconti, on the occasion of her marriage, with Ludovico di Touraine (from 1391 duke of Orleans). The elaboration of the Codex Astensis, the municipal liber iurium preserved in the Municipal Historical Archive, dates back to this phase, to be understood as the “ideological manifesto” of a solid urban ruling class, which claims the prestige of its past and the recognition of its own prerogatives by the new principles.The cohesion between the local patriciate and the dukes of Orleans will guarantee a further period of prosperity in Asti: the Società del Moleggio (1397) was born, which through the excavation of a new channel strengthens factories and mills in the city, while members of the Asti elite in the during the long domination of the Orléans (1387-1529) they assume key roles in the ducal administration.
In 1529, with the treaties of Cambrai, Asti was ceded by the king of France, Francis I, to the emperor Charles V and from these, in 1531, to the infanta of Portugal Beatrice, wife of Charles II, duke of Savoy: the city , occupied for a long time by Spanish troops, it passed under direct Savoy rule only in 1575. At the time it was an important cornerstone of the Savoy kingdom for the dynasty.However, the social and economic crisis, starting from the 16th century, diminishes Asti’s political weight. Emanuele Tesauro wrote around the middle of the seventeenth century: “After various misfortunes, the happy fortune made this city finally rest under the shadow of the Royal House of Savoy”.In the 18th century Asti was one of the main theaters of military campaigns involving the Savoy state: from the war for the succession of Spain (1703), to the war for the succession of Austria (1745-46). 

SpecialtiesAutumn and winter are the “main” seasons of the Asti and Piedmontese cuisine.• Raw beef with truffle (trìfula), veal with tuna sauce, peppers in bagna cauda, ​​veal tongue in green sauce (bagnet verd), “electric” tomini (cheese with chilli pepper), rabbit tuna, are just a few of the typical Asti appetizers.• Donkey Agnolotti, hare agnolotti; egg tagliatelle (tajarin) with roast sauce, truffle or porcini mushrooms, for the first courses.• Boiled fatty beef with “tanning” polenta (seasoned with stringy cheese).• the financier: the name of this recipe derives from the suit, called just “financier”, usually worn in 1800 by bankers and high finance men, who seem to like this dish very much; other sources suggest instead the origin of the name in the tribute in kind paid by the farmers to the guards (the financiers, in fact) to enter the city. Tribute mainly composed of the offal of chickens, still today among the fundamental ingredients.• Piedmontese mixed fry (fricia) linked to the pig slaughtering ritual and the need not to waste anything. It included innards, black puddings, lung (fricassà bianca), liver (fricassà nèira), sweetbreads. Over time, it has been enriched with new ingredients and there are numerous versions: pumpkin flowers and amaretti are typical of Monferrato.• roast veal and braised beef with barbera or barolo.

Desserts• Polentina from Asti, made with almonds, raisins, maraschino and covered with yellow polenta.• Amaretti from Mombaruzzo or Canelli, soft almond biscuits.• The hazelnut cake.• The zabaglione with Barbera or Muscat.• The ancient mon (pronounced “mun”) of Mongardino (soft brick).• The peaches at the Ruché di Castagnole Monferrato.

Cheeses• Robiola di Roccaverano, fresh DOP cheese, prepared with cow’s milk, sheep’s milk, goat’s milk.• Robiola di Cocconato, fresh cow’s milk cheese (it was once made with raw milk).• Piedmontese Toma, cow’s milk cheese, whose history dates back to the 14th century.

The stage:  A strike! Well, this was new. The riders, or at least a very vocal portion of them felt that such a long stage in the last few days of a Grand Tour in the cold of northern Italy was a bad idea. So bad that they refused to ride.
A reminder that tomorrow's stage was being altered, due to Covid regulations in France. 
There are going to be a lot of stories that come from this, but let's hear from Adam Hansen first:
He continued:
Eventually they did start riding again, with a new new official start time Abbiategrasso. and a new stage length of 124 kilometers.
After that restart, Bora was determined to control the race, working for Sagan. A group would get away, but their gap was small. It would however continue to grow.
On the road:The peloton would sit up, allowing the break to go and likely win the day.
The break riders:
Victor Campenaerts (NTT), Simon Pellaud (Androni), Josef Cerny (CCC), Iljo Keisse (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Sander Armée (Lotto-Soudal), Giovanni Carboni (Bardiani), Nathan Haas (Cofidis), Marco Mathis (Cofidis), Simon Clarke (EF), Lachlan Morton (EF), Alex Dowsett (Israel Start-Up Nation), Albert Torres (Movistar), Jacopo Mosca (Trek-Segafredo), and Etienne van Empel (Vini Zabu)
Their gap would quickly go out over five minutes. Thirty eight kilometers to go and the gap was at 7:43. Thirty kilometers to go and they would start to attack in the break.
Twenty five to go and there was a split that looked like it would stick. In the front, six riders: Campenaerts, Simon Clarke, Pellaud, Armée, Cerny and Mosca. Next to launch, Cerny. Twenty kilometers to go and he had 22 seconds. Keisse had joined the group behind. Seventeen kilometers and it had gone out to 37 seconds. Ten kilometers and 28 seconds. Six kilometers, 25 seconds. Four kilometers, 22 seconds. This would be tight.
Two kilometers and 21 seconds.
He would hold on!
Stage top 10:
1Josef Cerny (Pol) CCC Team2:30:40
2Victor Campenaerts (Bel) NTT Pro Cycling0:00:18
3Jacopo Mosca (Ita) Trek-Segafredo0:00:26
4Simon Clarke (Aus) EF Pro Cycling
5Iljo Keisse (Bel) Deceuninck-Quickstep
6Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Soudal
7Albert Torres Barcelo (Spa) Movistar Team0:01:10
8Simon Pellaud (Swi) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
9Giovanni Carboni (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
10Alex Dowsett (GBr) Israel Start-Up Nation

No GC change.

The wineBalgera Valtellina Superiore - Valgella Riserva
From the importerThe Valtellina is a very small wine-producing region in the mountains north of Milan, just south of the Alps that border Switzerland. The predominant grape variety is Nebbiolo, usually referred to here as Chiavennasca, and this is (along with the Barolo/Barbaresco area and the string of appellations in northern Piedmont, such as Ghemme and Lessona) one of the best places for this classic variety. The Valtellina valley runs East-West, and the steep slopes on the northern face of the valley are terraced for grapevines in what the Italians call 'heroic viticulture;' the amount of work involved in establishing and maintaining the terracing alone is hard to imagine, never mind working the vineyards. The soils here are largely morainic, the climate distinctly cooler than the Barolo zone, and red grapes are grown at altitudes up to 500 meters or more, which is unusual in northern Italy.

The FoodRobiola Tre Latti
The "tre latti" (three milks) indicates that this cheese is a blend of cow's, goat's and sheep's milk, in proportions that probably vary with the seasons. Mixed-milk cheeses such as this one are common in regions where farmers keep mixed herds. They help the cheesemaker manage seasonal fluctuations in milk supply. 
The cheese itself is very creamy, with a slight tang.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Wine and Food of the Giro 2020 Stage 18: Pinzolo to Laghi di Cancano

Where are we?

PinzoloMadonna di Campiglio, Pinzolo and Val Rendena (western Trentino) are a mosaic of naturalistic beauties where to live a mountain experience 360° around. In these places, the alpine setting shows its best: on the east side there are the Brenta Dolomites-UNESCO World Heritage, on the west side you can admire the shiny glaciers of the Adamello and Presanella. All around, the delicate frame of the Adamello Brenta Geopark with its extraordinary richness of flora, fauna, alpine lakes, waterfalls and ancient forests populated by brown bears.

Specialties: The traditional food of Val Rendena sinks its roots into a poor past and features wholesome ingredients and exquisitely authentic flavors like the cornflour for polenta, garden produce, herbs and other aromas. Sausages and cheeses, polenta, mushrooms and wild game are typical Val Rendena delicacies. 
The area also features a variety of grappas flavored with wild berries and other mountain plants, such as dwarf pine and woodruff, as well as a unique spirit distilled from gentian root, which is made exclusively in the valley and it is ideal as a digestive after even the most lavish of meals. Of particular note the cheeses of the valleys made from the milk of Rendena cows, the only breed of cattle that is native to the Trentino area and has Slow Food status.

Laghi di Cancano:Sport, nature, wellness and many events for people of all ages: there’s nothing that Valdidentro can’t offer. It is the ideal destination to live different and exciting experiences. Situated at the foot of the well known Cima Piazzi, its 24,000  hectares makes it the largest  municipality in the province of Sondrio. Valdidentro boasts locations and landscapes of exceptional beauty like the Cancano Lakes. These artificial lakes are located in the heart of  the Stelvio National Park  and “protected” by the Fraele towers, the symbol of Valdidentro.

Specialties: Fascinating alpine land, renown for the beauty of its natural landscapes, Valtellina is rich and generous in gastronomy too. A long tradition of local products, the centuries-old culture, a fruit growing land, the patience and determination of its people, these are the ingredients of Valtellina products which are now protected by the European trade marks. You can enjoy a gourmet experience in elegant restaurants and charming mountain huts. From the alpine herbs of our mountain had its origin one of the most famous amaro in Italy: the Braulio. Pizzoccheri, apples, bresaola and wines are only few of the many culinary excellences of the territory. Butter, milk, yoghurt and cheese: in Valtellina there’s a whole world of taste to be discovered from the milk stores to the holiday farms, not to mention the mountain cottages where people still work in the respect of the balance and rhythm of Nature. Valtellina Casera DOP, Bitto DOP and Scimudin are three characteristic products of the cheese-making tradition which have become very well known.

The stage: So here we are at perhaps the most anticipated stage of the race.     A bit more about what was ahead:
Up they would go and up and up and up.

To the surprise of no one,  as they climbed the peloton got very small, very quickly. The virtual leader jersey on the road would be taken by Kelderman, but could he keep it?

Under 10 kilometers to go and Bilbao and Fuglsang dropped Kelderman, who was the virtual race leader. Meanwhile, Dennis dropped from the front. By the way his Stelvio climbing time: 1h10'16''
Eight kilometers to go and it was1'24'' to Fuglsang and Bilbao and 1'40'' to Kelderman. As they continued to climb, Bilbao woulds drop Fuglsang.
Nice scenery when you are not on a bike.Behind, Nibali was picked up by Almeida's group. With 3 kilometers to go, Bilbao was at 48", Kelderman at 1'42" and the Maglia Rosa group at 4'32".
The two man sprint at the top won by Hindley.
Kelderman in fifth. Was it close enough for pink? Probably.
The answer: yes. But it was very close at the top of the top ten. It should be an interesting weekend indeed. And in the gc race:
The Wine: Foradori Nosiola Fontanasanta Vigneti delle Dolomiti IGT
From Eric Asimov in the New York Times:
She took on the job of studying the history of the grape. Over the last 25 years she has worked relentlessly to restore its genetic diversity so that the wines would be deeper, purer and more complex.

That we still have teroldego to enjoy at all is due to the labors of a few dedicated growers and winemakers, especially Elisabetta Foradori herself. She was barely more than a teenager in 1985 when she took over her family’s estate. Her father had died young, and the wine culture of the prime teroldego zone, Campo Rotaliano, a wide plain in Trentino, had become largely industrial. The dominant clone of teroldego in the area, as Ms. Foradori tells it, had been selected to emphasize quantity over quality, resulting in anemic, uninteresting wines.
“A whole variety had to be rebuilt, viticultural practices had to be brought back to quality levels, the soil had to be enriched with life, the plants brought to an equilibrium,” she recounted in an e-mail. “I myself have changed with the variety, and I find myself to be a different person, watching and listening to the land and to nature in a different way.”

The Food: 
 Eporediesi cookies

  • 100 gr - 2/3 Cup raw hazelnuts
  • 50 gr - 1/3 Cup unpeeled sweet almonds
  • 100 gr - 1 scant Cup cocoa powder
  • 1  pack of vanillin (0.5 gr - 0.16 oz circa)
  • 3-4 gr - 1 1/4 teaspoon of powder cinnamon
  • 50 gr - 1/3 Cup toasted hazelnuts
  • 220gr - 1 Cup + 1.5 tablespoon white sugar
  • 80 gr - 3 egg whites
  • 1 pinch of salt
Finely chop the almonds and the hazelnuts
whip up the egg whites till firm and fold in all the ingredients.
Mix evenly and grease the cookie sheet.
With a pastry bag lay down the cookies: 5 cm - 2 inches long tubes wide about 1.5cm - 0.5 inch. 
With your wet palm gently squeeze them down.
Sprinkle with granulated sugar and let them rest for 2-3 hours.
Bake them at 165C - 329 F for 18-20min.
Be extra careful not to overbake them as they must be crunchy outside and soft inside.