Stage 20: Numbers Flapping in the Wind; Like 170 Moles in Action

We thought this an awesome stage, because the clowning and ceremony made the boring part charming, and the battle to set up the sprint was as exciting as the finish… Continue reading

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Stage 19: Chapeaux à Bert Grabsch

It’s remarkable to us that Bert Grabsch could be the Lanterne Rouge at the start of the stage and then take third overall for the time trial.  We’re so proud of him but disappointed that it will cost him his overall last place as he will now finish the race as the penultimate rider in the tour. Continue reading

Stage 18: The Chateau Stays in Place

We finished watching this incredibly dull stage before noon.  Basically, it was long enough for our clean up from last night’s dinner party plus a short ride on our trainers.  We’ll hold off until tomorrow to drink both our Bordeaux wines (one red and one white) together during tomorrow’s time trial.

Michael gets a bottle of wine from the team car.

Stage 17: Unless You Strike Him, He Won’t Bite

A few days ago, Phil made this comment about Contador: “He’s like a snake.  Unless you strike him, he won’t bite.”  He also said, “The big boys have got to release their feelings.”  In both cases, he was talking about stages like this one, where we watched Andy and Alberto completely separately from the entire rest of the field.  In some ways, this was the most exciting day of the tour.  In other ways, it was completely predictable.  Nothing changed. Continue reading

Stage 16: Before the Rabbits Scurry for the Hole

Today’s wine was 2008 La Vendima Rioja.  It’s another Spanish selection to celebrate our proximity to the border, even though the tour does not cross over. Continue reading

Stage 15: Like Two Wheeled Gladiators

We thought there were no wines from the Pyrenees, so we’ve been drinking Spanish wines for these stages.  But partway through the day, Phil mentioned that the riders were passing through Fronsac, which is known for its wines.  We checked our wine shop to see if we could make a last minute addition.  It turns out they have not stocked any Fronsac in six years but they did have two St. Emillion (nearby)that were out of our price range.  Oh well.  We were not displeased with our 2008 El Chapparal de Vega Sindoa Old Vines Garnacha. Continue reading

Stage 14:Schluges and Smengies; foodies and francophiles

We had a great visit with our friends Scott and Sara and their daughter Sadie, who just got back from France. The pressure was on for a good meal and a decent wine. Continue reading