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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

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

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Saturday, 15 July 2017

2017 Tour de France: Warren Barguil wins on Bastille Day. Stage 14 preview

French ecstasy as Warren Barguil wins in Foix  

Fabio Aru still in Yellow but changes in Top 10
with Landa, Quintana and Contador all moving up

Mountains classification: Warren Barguil 
leads with 61 point advantage

As predicted yesterday's short mountain stage (101 kms) gave us very exciting racing. Warren Barguil made the French very happy with his stage win in Foix on Bstille Day, the French national holiday that celebrates the start of the French Revolution. This is the first time in 12 years that there has been a French winner. David Moncoutié was the last Frenchman to win on Bastille Day back in 2005.  
The day was notable for the return to form for both Alberto Contador and Nairo Quintana. The stage's excitement was generated by an early attack by Alberto Contador, who was swiftly followed by Sky's Mikel Landa. They were eventually joined by Quintana and Warren Barguil. At the end Barguil won the sprint for the line. 

Although there were some attacks Fabio Aru kept the Yellow Jersey despite having to ride without support from his depleted team – down to seven riders. Although isolated the other teams have get to put Aru under serious pressure. Sky will need to do this during the remaining stages.

Astana were further weakened by Jakob Fulsang having to retire because of small fractures in his hand and elbow making it painful to ride and difficult to control his bike. It was, however, a very brave effort by Fulsang, winner of the Dauphiné to attempt to ride on. 

Stage 14 Preview: Blagnac to Rodez 181.5 kms

This is the first of two stages featuring the Massif Central, which ought to provide some interesting racing and perhaps some changes to the overall classification. The first 80 kilometres are fairly flat, while the last 100 are quite lumpy, mainly uphill with a couple of Cat 3 climbs. The finish in Rodez is a 570 metre uphill with a average of 9.6%. A chance for an overall contender to gain a few seconds in the sprint for the line. I think Sky ought to be trying to put pressure on Aru over the next two days. Tomorrow's stage to Le Puy is the more challenging. 

The Intermediate Sprint is at 55 kms, so expect Marcel Kittel to shadow Michael Matthews, who may also feature in the steep finish, which is likely to be too much for Kittel.  

The forecast is dry and comfortably warm but the wind is quite strong for part of the middle section of the stage, so splits in the peloton could happen.       

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