Toast #TDF2017 with Wines from the Côtes de Gascogne (#winophiles)

Stages 12-14 send the peloton scurrying around South West France, a large swath of forests interspersed with vineyards and farms. Its quiet, rural landscape runs from the Pyrénées Mountains in the south, up the Atlantic coast to Bordeaux. As you can imagine, many styles of wine are produced here, most from grapes native to the area. Which brings us to the only challenge in tasting … Continue reading Toast #TDF2017 with Wines from the Côtes de Gascogne (#winophiles)

Welcome to the Pyrénées! #TDF2017 Heads to South West France

Stage 11 will be the sprinters’ last hurrah for a few days, so expect them to race for glory before they slink to the back of the peloton tomorrow. Can Marcel Kittel continue his dominance for one more day? After watching him come from nowhere to win Stage 10 – with clean wheels – I sure wouldn’t bet against him! Even the commentators lamented his position far off the front group, saying he had waited too long accelerate. Yeah, right. My prediction: Marcel Kittel wins again, then hides out in the Pyrénées for a few days before vanquishing the other sprinters at the next designated sprint line.  Continue reading “Welcome to the Pyrénées! #TDF2017 Heads to South West France”

Tour de France by the Glass 2016: Stage 10 – What’s Next? Locusts?

  Sunday, during Stage 9 of the 2016 Tour de France, Mother Nature threw just about everything but the kitchen sink at the peloton:  sweltering heat, unrelenting mountain roads, encroaching spectators, and a hail storm.  What’s next?  Locusts? If you missed coverage of yesterday’s ride through the Pyrénées, check out the highlight video from Cycling Weekly:     Monday is a rest day but the riders … Continue reading Tour de France by the Glass 2016: Stage 10 – What’s Next? Locusts?

Tour de France by the Glass 2016: Stage Eight, Pau to Bagnères-de-Luchon

  Welcome to the Pyrénées! You know it’s going to be a tough day when the stage profile map looks like an upturned saw, with a few gigantic teeth.  Today’s stage features one of the most famous climbs ever to grace the Tour de France:  the Col du Tourmalet. It first challenged the peloton back in 1910 and has haunted them 83 times since!  This … Continue reading Tour de France by the Glass 2016: Stage Eight, Pau to Bagnères-de-Luchon

Tour de France by the Glass 2016 – Stage Seven, L’Isle Jourdain to Lac de Payolle

At the end of Stage Seven, the peloton will get its first taste of the Pyrénées Mountains, in the form of the estimable Col d’Aspin, a Category 1 climb leveling off just below 5,000 feet.   As difficult as the ascent promises to be, the descent from mountain-top to finish line could be even more treacherous.  The riders will charge down narrow roads at frighteningly high speeds, … Continue reading Tour de France by the Glass 2016 – Stage Seven, L’Isle Jourdain to Lac de Payolle

Tour de France by the Glass 2016 – Stage Six, Arpajon-sur-Cère to Montauban

Thursday the peloton heads southwest toward the border of Spain and the Pyrénées.  But first they must traverse the roads of Fronton and Gaillac, two wine-producing areas included in the massive appellation of South West France.  Aptly named, this region lays claim to most every vineyard in the southwestern quadrant of the country, save for the acreage in Bordeaux and Cognac.  That’s a lot of … Continue reading Tour de France by the Glass 2016 – Stage Six, Arpajon-sur-Cère to Montauban