Still, there have been no serious attacks on Chris Froome, and his helpers in Sky. His former, faithful helper Richie Porte was the only one to attack. Chris Froome followed, and Nairo Quintana and Bauke Mollema lost another half minute when they were left behind. It seems that only an accident can prevent Chris Froome from winning this year.
We are back in France, for a 17 km uphill time trial. This is not common in Tour de France, it is the first since 2004. They have had this type of stages more frequently in Giro d’Italia. I have looked at the results from stage 15. in this year’s Giro d’Italia, to have something to compare with. This was a 10 km uphill time trial. The time differences between the first ten riders was a bit more than a minute. As today’s stage is longer, I will expect the time differences to be about twice a much. There is a lot to win and even more to loose on this stage for anyone with some kind of ambitions in the general classifications. Some will go for a stage win. I am for instance thinking of Tom Dumoulin. But for the rest of the riders, it is a question of getting through within the time limit, without using too much energy. As an example, Peter Sagan is about 2 hours and 28 minutes behind Chris Froome in the genereal classification. He is collecting points, and the time does not matter. If he should loose some more minutes, who cares?
I have to start by going back to yesterday. It was a lot more vines along the descent from Col des Mosses to Aigle than I had expected to see. I had to go back and do some more research, with some aid from the commentaries on French TV. I had looked at the stage map and maps of wine regions. But I should have looked closer on a more detailed map. The rider came down into the valley further south than I had expected the to do, where the valley had alredady started to open up down towards Lake Geneva. We were in Vaud, and as everyone could see: There were a lot of vineyards. This is the area Chablais, not to be confused with Chablis. It has its own AOC-classification. I do not know much about Swiss eine classification, and do not know what that AOC classification really mean here. Chasselas is the dominating grape. Due to its location in a valley going north-south, with high mountains on the sides, Chablais do not get much sun exposure. This gives a wine with rather high acidity.
Along today’s stage, it is very difficult to find interesting wine. It is short, and we are in the part of The French Alps where there is little to no wine production. Sometimes we find wine in the valleys, particularly in slopes facing south. But not here. There may be a few producers and they may produce good wine. But if it exists, it is very hard to find. The only way is probably to travel around in the area and search for it. Generally, wine produced in or near tourist areas, are consumed locally by locals and tourists, and hard to find outside the area.
We may include the IGP-classified Vin des Allobroges. The word allobroges is from gaelic, and means, “those who are comming from another place”. It is said that they produce many types of wine, with a variety of grapes. And the wine is fruity, dry with hint of herbs. That is about all I have been able to find out.
As there are so little wine in our glasses, we may intead have some music. A song title that popped up in my head when thinking of the performance of Chris Froome and his team mates in Sky, was “Ghost Riders in the Sky”. The most well known version is probably the recording by Johnny Cash from 1979. But I have picked the original recording by Burl Ives from 1949.
Tour de France 2016
- Stage 1: Mont-Saint-Michel / Utah Beach Sainte-Marie-du-Mont
- Stage 2: Saint-Lô -- Cherbourg-en-Cotentin
- Stage 3: Granville -- Angers
- Stage 4: Saumur -- Limoges
- Stage 5: Limoges -- Le Lioran
- Stage 6: Arpajon-sur-Cère -- Montauban
- Stage 7: l’Isle-Jourdain — Lac de Payolle
- Stage 8: Pau — Bagnères-de-Luchon
- Stage 9: Vielha Val d’Aran — Andorre Arcalis
- Stage 10: Escaldes-Engordany — Revel
- Stage 11: Carcassonne — Montpellier
- Stage 12: Montpellier -- Mont Ventoux
- Stage 13: Bourg-Saint-Andéol — La Caverne du Pont-d’Arc
- Stage 14: Montélimar — Villars-les-Dombes Parc des Oiseaux
- Stage 15: Bourg-en-Bresse — Culoz
- Stage 16: Moirans-en-Montagne — Berne
- Stage 17: Berne — Finhaut-Emosson
- Stage 18: Sallanches — Megève
- Stage 19: Albertville — Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc
- Stage 20: Megève — Morzine-Avoriaz
- Stage 21: Chantilly — Paris Champs-Élysées
Tour de France