Going up

The big dogs all stayed on the porch today as Quick Step’s Sylvain Chavenal took the yellow jersey back from Fabian Cancellara in stage seven of the Tour.

Texus Maximus predicts a selection tomorrow, and all the wiseguys are picking Super Spaniard for the stage win, as stage eight has about a bazillion miles of up in it.

French wine is the rule here come Tour time — but naturally, we have a Spanish red in reserve just in case you-know-who opens up a 10-gallon-can of whup-ass.

French wine is the rule here come Tour time — but naturally, we have a Spanish red in reserve just in case you-know-who opens up a 10-gallon-can of whup-ass.

Regardless of who wins, this should be a fun one to watch, if you spare yourself the hours of tedium leading up to the final climb, to the ski station at Avoriaz, a Category 1 13.6km slog that averages 6 percent.

If you enjoy parking yourself in front of the TV (or the laptop) on a lovely Sunday morning, however, look for the contenders to have their goons beat on the pretenders on the Cat. 1 Col de la Ramaz (14km at an average grade of just under 7 percent). That should thin the herd to a manageable size.

I don’t have a dog in this fight, but I wouldn’t mind seeing Cadel Evans do well. The BMC man has done the rainbow jersey proud this year, and I’m kinda developing a soft spot for the little weirdo.

During the Tour we drink French wine at Chez Dog — actually, we almost always drink French wine here, and last night was no exception. I usually start with a glass of white, this time a 2009 Coteaux du Languedoc from Picpoul de Pinet. A rosé is indicated next; last night it was a 2009 Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence from Bieler Père et Fils, in part because it was on sale and in part because I like it.

The finale, since I was grilling a flatiron steak, was a red — a 2007 Côtes du Rhône from André Goichot, which was also on sale and thus in my price range. It has to be a really special occasion for me to drop more than $15 on a bottle of wine.

Tonight we have more Languedoc chillin’ in the ’fridge alongside a 2009 Rosé de Pressée from Tariquet. The red is Lou Bar Rou, a 2007 from Ventoux (a climb not in this year’s Tour). And just because I’m a lazy sonofabitch, I’m gonna reheat last night’s leftovers for dinner.

Red meat, red wine, red eyeballs — that’s the Tour de France, doggy style.

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4 Responses to “Going up”

  1. ONeill Says:

    The reason I don’t like Cadel is he has never attacked. Unlike his mountain bike days he follows wheels. Maybe this year will be different. On anther note I pumped up my road bike tires; ride with a real out-o-shape dog?

  2. Larry T. Says:

    We’re close to Frogland (and will enter today to see/ride the final climb to Morzine-Avoriaz, provided the French police will let us, and it doesn’t rain/hail on us) but last night enjoyed a Valle d’Aosta TORRETTE made by Les Cretes just below us here in La Thuile. We’ve stocked up on some local wines and brought along a some bottles from elsewhere,
    a Barbaresco and a Lagrein, both “chunky” reds with high alcohol content. VIVE LE TOUR! Allez Evans!

  3. khal spencer Says:

    Well, after today’s Radio Shack debacle, I doubt we will hear much more about Tex vs. Contador.

  4. steve-o Says:

    What does it say about how old I’m getting that my only fascination with sports is the excuse for tying on the feed bag whilst taking it in? Not sure I can handle another story about what’s going on in any particular cyclists cavernous head, but give me an interview with Willy Balmat or Sean Fowler, and you have my attention. And I’d love for VN to do a piece on a particular grape from region to region as the Tour passes through.

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