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

Friday, 20 July 2012

2012 Tour de France: Blagnac to Brive-la-Gaillarde

From a suburb of Toulouse to the Corrèze

Today's long 222.5K stage up through central France from Blagnac to Brive-la-Gaillarde is a transition one taking the riders part of the way from the Pyrénées to the Beauce for Saturday's flat time trial from Bonneval to Chartres. At around the mid-point the riders will pass through Cahors where the intermediate sprint is placed. The course is lumpy particularly the latter part and there are four categorised climbs on the way – a 3rd and three 4ths. There are not enough points left to threaten Thomas Voeckler's hold on the Mountains Jersey.  

I think that a break will be allowed to go all the way today as with a climb just before the finish it isn't ideal for the sprinters, so I can't see any team wanting to do a lot of work to pull back the break. Although the finish would suit Peter Sagan, Liquigas did a lot of work yesterday for no return at all. He might, of course, manage to get into the break... 

Today should pose no worries for Bradley Wiggins but there are always potential dangers. Mark Cavendish was brought down yesterday by some idiot waving a flag, which got caught in his handlebars. Fingers crossed!

François Hollande, the French president, will follow the last part of the stage in race director, Christian Prudhomme's car. Before his election to president, Hollande used to represent one of the constituencies of Corrèze.   

Update: 13.30 BST 
Looks as though my guess has proved wrong. Although a breakaway of 16 has got around 2.30 mins, the peloton is active and unwilling to let them get a big lead.  

No comments: