Thursday, July 11, 2013

Washington Syrah v. Cotes du Rhone

The Tour raced across the South of France and then made a long transfer via airplane to the far North West of the country where they completed the first Individual Time Trial of le Tour in one of the more unusual locales in France - Mont Saint Michel

I'm heading to France to see some of the racing first hand as the riders race through the Rhone Valley and the French Alps.  This week's challenge is prep work for the Rhone, a Washington Syrah faces a challenger from the Cotes du Rhone.

2010 Guardian Cellars The Informant v. 2011 Saint Cosme Syrah

Monday, July 8, 2013

Washington Rose v. Provence

Hors Delai!  Those two words can be like a knife to the heart of a bike racer.  That is the French phrase for "you missed the time cut" and now you are out of our bike race.  This post is a bit hors delai, but I am defying the Tour organizers and continuing on with the race..

The Tour de France kicked off the 100th edition on the island of Corsica.  It is hard to believe, but this is the first time le Tour has visited this island just to the South of Nice in the Mediterranean Sea.

The first three stages of the tour took place on Corsica and each offered up plenty of thrills and twists.  Stage one featured the Orica-GreenEdge team bus getting stuck under the finish line banner and a big crash that took out the majority of the top sprinters including Mark Cavendish.  Stage two had enough hills that the sprinters were left behind, many of them finish 17 minutes behind the surprise winner, Jan Bakelants, of the RadioShack Leopard team who narrowly beat a charging field by 1 second.  Stage three went a bit more to form, but once again the sprinters were dropped on one of the final climbs and Orica-GreenEdge made up for their embarrassing bus incident with Simon Gerrans taking the sprint victory.

The race left Corsica and blazed a trail across Provence.  That is where we pick up the race route.

This Lucha Vino challenge features a classic Southern France Rose' challenging a Washington Rose' that seeks inspiration from Provence.

Chateau Barbanau Cotes de Provence 2011 L'Instant v. Syncline 2012 Rose