We expected drama over the weekend with two tough stages through the Jura, and drama we duly received. After a day off stage action, Tuesday sees the tenth stage, running east from Perigeux before looping West along the Dordogne to a finish in Bergerac. There are a couple of category 4 climbs and an intermediate sprint in Saint-Cyprien, but with decent weather forecast and a very flat finish, this is likely to be one for the sprinters.
Profil de l’étape
AmyBC’s Wine of the Day – Chateau Le Payral Saussignac 2005
Time for something sweet! Honey, apricot and even some lemon. Pretty luscious.
From the importer: From 1992, Thierry and Isabelle Daulhiac have had the run of the nineteenth century manor house and the surrounding fifteen hillside hectares of vineyards, since it was handed down to them from the previous two generations. They are nestled between two oft-foggy appellations of Montbazillac and Sainte-Foy, in the town of Razac de Saussignac, with vines facing the Dordogne, about two kilometers to the north.
Did you know?
We’re in Perigord for the start of this stage, which to me has only one connotation – the Perigord Truffle. More prosaically known as the black truffle, Tuber melanosporum is a delicious thing, and almost half of the world’s supply comes from France, most of it in the oak woodlands through which the riders will be hurtling. White truffle is a more expensive product, but good black truffle ain’t cheap. The record price achieved (to the undoubted chagrin of patriotic Frenchmen) was for an Australian Truffle. We can all agree that, whatever the gastronomic value, they weren’t paying $2,500 for the visual beauty of that particular fungus.
What’s at stake?
Assuming we avoid crashes, there is unlikely to be any shake-up in the GC, or any significant chance for the breakaway to have a dramatic impact on the King of the Mountains or pick up the stage. Tuesday is about the sprinters. First, it is about the stage win, and Marcel Kittel will be optimistic about winning his fourth stage. Second, it is a chance to look at the green jersey competition, with Matthews hoping to keep the gap from being extended.
Who’s going to win?
I’d love to pick against him, but with Kittel in this form he’s the clear pick. Greipel and Bouhanni will be among those hoping to turn the tables on him.