Each time the peloton has climbed Plateau de Beille, 3 times, the stage winner has gone on to claim the yellow jersey in Paris. Will today's winner follow Marco Pantani (1998), Lance Armstrong (2002) and Alberto Contador (2007)? They just might, thanks to the five categorised climbs that precede the final summit ascent. At almost 16km and with a gradient just below 8 per cent, the final climb is long and tough enough for the leaders to overhaul any breakaways and dispute the day's spoils between them. I'd expect the GC contenders to lay claim to the title on tonight’s stage, with the tag team Schleck duo doing the damage in the end.
Friday, July 15, 2011
Tour De Brew - Stage 14
Stage 13: Saint-Gaudens - Plateau de Beille 168.5KM
Beer for the stage: Stone Imperial Russian Stout 10.5%
Wow, not short on intensely aromatic notes featuring plenty of roasted character, coffee, anise and of course warming alcohols. Thick and heavy on the palate, it punches a hefty smack in the chops and if your game to get through the entire bottle I can speak from experience, you'll know about it.
*thats not me in the photo above, just some bloke savoring the experience
So similar to engine oil in consistancy, this Imperial Stout is often used by Garmin-Cervelo as a substitute chain lubricant. The mechanics also pour the beer into moulds and let it "set" by baking it in an oven for 23 minutes and they are then used as brake pads for extended descents given their durability.
Bière locale: Brasserie Artisanale d'Ariège Pyrénées. Established in 2005 in Saint-Girons, 10km off route, the 10hL systems produces a good range including a lager, amber, wheat beer and dark ale. Open to the public, yet another good chance to sip on some local brew, and maybe even help out with the polishing by the looks of it.