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

Saturday, 10 July 2010

2010 Le Tour de France: starting to go uphill

 Today's stage from Tournus to the Station des Rousses takes the riders across the flat Saône Valley before entering the picturesque Jura mountains. This stage with six climbs – three 2nd category, two 3rd and a 4th – is the taster for the three Alpine stages to come. The sprinters, who dominated the last few stages, will be left behind and the contenders for overall victory will start to come to the fore.

Although today's stage is very unlikely to be decisive it will be a first indication of who is going well in the mountains. There are no really steep climbs but once the riders hit the first hill just after 40 kilometres, it is up and down for the remaining 120K to the finish. After days of riding along mainly flat roads, it can be difficult to make the quick adjustment to riding uphill. This allied with the heat of this week and yesterdays undulating stage where they climbed some 2500 metres means there may well be a few overall contenders who have problems of this stage.

A few predictions for the weekend:  

Fabien Cancellara may retain the yellow jersey today but will lose it tomorrow on the Alpine stage to Morzine-Avoriaz tomorrow.

Lance Armstrong will lose more time to Andy Schleck and to Alberto Contador.

Cadel Evans will remain in contention.

Thor Hushovd may try a breakaway to pick up Green Jersey points

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