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, 30 June 2012

2012 Tour de France: the Prologue

Little time for a bottle of red during the Prologue! 

At 14.00 (CET) Tom Veelers will head down the ramp and be the first rider to start the short, full-out 6.4 kilometre ride through the streets of Liège. The course is virtually flat with four roundabouts to negotiate – two which should be possible to sweep through as long as it stays dry and two with 180˚ turns. The forecast this afternoon is overcast around 21˚C with a wind speed of 30K veering from the south to south west during the afternoon. This may make the final kilometre or so particularly tough.

Riders will follow Veelers at one minute intervals until the last man sets off, the 198th rider Cadel Evans as last year's Tour winner – at 17.17. Most of the favourites for the Prologue are towards the end: Dave Zabriskie (16.49), Peter Sagan (16.50 – the very promising young rider), Tony Martin (16.58), Denis Menchov (17.04), Jurgen van den Broeck (17.06 – Georges Meekers's tip for yellow), Bradley Wiggins (17.07), Fabian Cancellara (17.16 – Fabian won his first Tour stage, the 2004 Prologue, here in Liège) followed by last man Evans. Frank Schleck is off at 16.54 – how much time will he lose?     

My guess for the winner: I'll play safe and go for either Tony Martin or Fabian Cancellara with Martin my marginal favourite, although it would be good to see Cancellara repeat his 2004 triumph and get Yellow for the first full stage. I will be surprised if Evans and Wiggins are far behind. 

Details of where you can find live coverage here on steephillTV.

Also Le Journal du Tour.


Multiple Tour winner, Lance Armstrong, has been formally charged with doping between 1999 and 2011. Details here.

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