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.

We were very upset when Sammy Sanchez crashed and very proud of him for holding on to his third place position.  Bert Grabsch continues to hold onto the Lanterne Rough slot.  Good on you!  Paul spent a bit of time today explaining just how hard it is to keep that slot.

From left to right, Laurie Beth Clark, Andy Schleck, Mario Ortiz Robles, Guillermina de Ferrari, Alberto Contador, Michael Peterson

More exciting than the stage was the food, wine, and company. Our friends Guillermina and Mario and their daughter Paloma are finally back from Mexico. We made homemade sausages, and served them with homemade baguettes, lentil salad, poached pears, and our favorite sheep cheese, which happens to come from the Pyrenees: Ossau-Iraty Onetik.

Pear poached in red wine and ginger with home-candied ginger and wine ginger granita.

We had three more Spanish wines tonight:

2006 Via Terra Garnacha Blanca

Arbanta Rioja (Ecologica)

and

2005 Atalayas de Golban from Ribera del Duero.

The latter was one of the most interesting wines all tour (and one of the most expensive as well).

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