Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tour De Brew - Stage 10

Stage 9 provided perhaps to most action packed stage of the tour so far. A couple of very serious crashes resulted in the withdrawal of some of the team leaders and better known riders in the peleton, again. This years race has been robbed of some of its "show" riders within the first 9 days of the event, something that hasnt happend for a long time.

The first happened as the bunch descended the second climb of the day, the Pas de Peyrol, a number of riders went down, both on the road and into the ditch and woods on the right-hand side of it. The most seriously affected were Omega Pharma-Lotto GC leader Jurgen Van den Broeck and teammate Fredrik Willems, who both broke a collar bone, Astana leader Alexandre Vinokourov, who broke an elbow and his femur, and Garmin-Cervélo's Dave Zabriskie, who broke a wrist. All were forced to abandon, although Zabriskie did briefly attempt to continue.

More controversial was a crash in the breakaway group of five just 36km from the finish. As the riders sped down a descent, a car from French TV attempted to pass them going partly down the grass verge on the left-hand side of the road. The car driver swerved back into the road and the riders to avoid a roadside tree, hitting Team Sky's Juan Antonio Flecha and sending him cartwheeling down the road. The Spaniard clipped Vacansoleil-DCM's Johnny Hoogerland, who was sent somersaulting onto a barbed wire fence on the other side of the road. How on earth the dutch pornstar Johnny Hoogerland not only survived, but got back up to finish the stage and pull on the polka dots is phenomenal.

Jonny Hoogerland comes to grief after being hit by a race car
(click on the photo to view the video of the crash)

The rest day provided so much needed R & R for both the riders, crews and spectators. 1am - 2am finished certainly take it out of you, and I was grateful to gain a full nights sleep last night.

Stage 10: Aurillac - Carmaux 161KM

Stage 10 Profile

A short stage follows the rest day as the race continues south through the Cévennes. Although rolling, there are no outstanding difficulties on today's route and that should benefit the sprinters.

One factor that might come into play is the intense heat that can affect this region, although the forecast is for clear skies and 23C for stage 10. Another might be the growing desire for teams that have not made an impact so far to do so on one of the two remaining stages before the race reaches the Pyrenees. Regardless of the heat of both the day and the competition, this should be a day dominated by the green jersey contenders, if they can eventually chase down the breakaways. Tom Boonen won in nearby Castres in 2007, but I'm guessing he'll struggle to get up for this stage.

Beer for the stage: Stone & Wood Pacific Ale. Utilising Galaxy hops, Pacific Ale is cloudy and golden with a big fruity aroma and a refreshing finish. Its a beer full of tropical fruit taste and aroma, sweet and refreshing. Nationally recognised as one of Australia's' great beers, this beer is ideally suited to all year round enjoyment, preferably on the coast somewhere, post surf.
Bière locale: Les Frères Brasseurs in the finishing town of Carmaux producing a blonde and and amber. The translation of their amber is as follows;

"Tolosa is a beer of character, loyal to the rebellious spirit of our ancestors, it brings back da Midi-Pyrenees ns flourishing tradition of regional beers. This is a beer that has the tannin, the power structure, ideal to finish off a meal quality."


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