Stage 12: 5 hours, 26 minutes, 10 seconds.

5 hours is roughly the cooking time on the barbecue for our pork spare ribs, rubbed with a mixture of salt, pepper, fresh herbs from the garden, brown sugar, paprika, and chili. 26 minutes is the stage gap today, which we biked on our trainers. 10 seconds, of course, is the amount of time Contador made up on Andy today. A boring stage, as usual, right up to the moment that it wasn’t. 10 seconds? Sure, it’s a steep hill, but does it amount to “a serious sting in the tail?”Cycling thoughts: 1) RE: yesterday’s sprint controversy: the point about not taking your hands of the handlebars is a very important context for the headbutting thing. Still, cutting off Tyler that way is worth of suspension, even if Julian Dean was crowding first. OTOH, Tyler withdrawing today kind of moots things in a weird way. 2) RE: today’s finish: did Andy miss Alberto’s move, or was he already toast? LB looked at Andy on the podium and said “today he realized he can’t win.” Good job Levi staying in there.

Michael had to drop back to pick up tonight’s wine, a lovely brightly colored  red.

Michael collects tonight's wine from the Biancci-Lardon team car.

The Jean-Luc Colombo Cotes du Rhone Les Abeilles 2007 was just plain good–aired out nicely it had berry notes without being jammy, and seemed very well balanced.

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