Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Sunday, 8 July 2012

2012 Tour de France: Belfort to Porrentruy – short but brutal!

Today's stage in the Jura is only 157.5 kilometres long but it will be potentially tough with seven categorised climbs – starting with a 4th Cat then a 3rd before four 2nd Cat climbs and finishing with a short but very steep 1st Cat climb – Col de la Croix. This final climb is just 3.7 kilometres long but has an average gradient of 9.3% but with one section at 17% and some at 15%. Although the only Cat 1 climb of the day, it is the shortest. The Côte de Maison-Rouge, the third climb, is the longest at 7.9K.  

The top of the Col de la Croix comes at 141.5K. Then there is a short steep descent followed by a flat run to the finish, which along with the first 20K will be virtually the only time when the riders aren't either climbing or descending.    

Col de la Croix – the final sting in a short tough stage

Will this be a chance for other teams to attack Sky today? Or will a breakaway be allowed to stay away to the end? I fancy that Sky will want to keep the pace high in the peloton to stop any of the remaining overall contenders attacking or trying to get some time in hand on Bradley Wiggins before Monday's time trial. Nibali, in particular, will know that if the result of the time trial in the Dauphine is repeated, then he is likely to be two and a half minutes behind Wiggins by Monday night.   

This ought to be an exciting stage!

Johannes Frohlinger is reported to have abandoned the Tour following injuries sustained in crash on Stage 6 to Metz.

13.45 (BST): Samuel Sanchez involved in crash – out with suspected broken collarbone. 


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