July 12, 2005

Stage 9 Mountains of Choucroute Gérardmer - Mulhouse, 171 km; 105.6 miles The first of the class mountain climbs today. There's now only 177 riders competing. If you're keeping track--and if you are reading this to do so well I encourage you to go here or here for updates---this here is just one woman's justification for abandoning everything for three weeks without losing sight of its purpose. Michael Rasmussen (Denmark) and his KofM polka-dotted self won today--by a long lead. I'm impressed with the CSC team this year. Right from the beginning with the blazing yellow-jersey winning speed of Zabriskie (USA) and then today's Jens Voight (Germany) won the malliot jaune today. And let's not forget Bobby Julich (USA) and Ivan Basso (Italy) to top world cyclists. Unfortunately Zabriskie abandoned today, saying "his body is not recovering." I can't even imagine the anger, sadness and frustration that races through a rider at this point of decision. The only American to win a stage in each of the three major tours. And he has a dry sense of humour. He's only 26--someone to watch. Team Discovery is down to 6 (from 9) leaving Armstrong with 5 teammates, that includes Savoldelli, Azevedo (Portugal), Hincapie (USA), Popovych (Ukraine) and Rubiera (Spain). But after yesterday's performance the team has rallied. And for those of you who are new and now are thinking that Lance has no chance--the race has just begun. The pressure is off him now. He feeds off this type of focus. Overall Lance is third; Hincapie...
Stage 10- Born to Rhone Deux Nestled beneath the impressive Mont Blanc, Europe's rooftop at 15,771 feet, is the Rhone-Alpes region which borders Switzerland and Italy. The area extends out toward the Rhone wine areas west of Lyon. It's capital, Lyon is the second largest in France and a mecca for gourmands. The region itself offers 24 microclimates allowing for a wide variety of agriculture and food production. So with the chicken farms of the Bresse and the cattle ranches of Charolais, wild game (guinea fowl) of the Dombes, fish from the Savoy lakes, fruits and vegetables of the Rhône valley and the poultry of theForez region are all within easy reach and supply Rhône-Alpes battalion of grand chefs. There are a total of 62 Michelin-starred restaurants of which five have three stars and 11 have two stars. The 10 Beaujolais crus and the wines of Côtes-du-Rhône, along with a wide range of cheeses including Bleu du Vercors-Sassenage (AOC), Reblochon (AOC) all pairing well with the region's specialties. Today the start of the race shifted to a different starting point due to a farmer's protest. They were protesting the reintroduction of wolves in the Alps. So naturally my mind wandered to what these farmers where growing and what the organics looks like here ? Organics is still a relatively niche market in France, representing only 0.5% of total retail food sales. More and more supermarkets are outlets for selling organics. Biocoop is a smaller version of our Wild Oats or Whole Foods. It has over 230...


what happens to the hole when the donut is gone?

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