Le Tour: wine “to dull the physical pain”

tchin tchin When Fabian Cancellara crossed the line first in the short prologue of the Tour de France, his bike was impounded and put through an X-ray machine. So were 13 others. Apparently authorities are suspicious of tiny motors assisting riders in the Tour. None were found.

An article detailing the day’s events appeared in the NYT. In it, they also looked back at other ways riders have been suspected (or found guilty) of cheating in the Tour. This one caught my eye:

Some riders have been accused of guzzling alcohol along the way — including carrying wine bottles on their bikes — to dull the physical pain of the race.

Okay, then! Which wine do you think figured in the strategy there–something refreshing and low alcohol or a high-octane fruit bomb?

Image: reduced sized crop of an image attributed to Reuters

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6 Responses to “Le Tour: wine “to dull the physical pain””


  1. My guess is white Chateaueuf du Pape. Good alcohol and no tell tale red wine stains if a rider accidentally spits it out.


  2. My only experience with wine and bikes was a fool’s attempt to tour the Napa wineries on the Silverado Trail on a bike. After one stop, I felt like the blood wasn’t getting to my leg muscles! (This from a seven mile a day runner).

    I cannot imagine improving performance on the Tour de France by drinking wine… but if they do, it would have to be refreshing and low alcohol. Love the image!


  3. There is only one possible answer: Yellow Jersey wine from Boisset!
    http://www.boissetfamilyestates.com/products/BrandDetails.aspx?BrnId=92
    It comes in a plastic bottle that is designed to fit in the bike’s bottle holder. I think the Sauvignon Blanc is best for flat stages with the Pinot Noir when they hit the Alps.
    I first wrote about Yellow Jersey here:
    http://wineeconomist.com/2007/11/18/the-french-connection/
    BTW: Look for Tyler Farrar to win a couple of stages — he’s from Washington Wine country.


  4. Along the lines of Laurie’s comment, I suspect the alcohol wasn’t really the point here, nor was the nature of the particular wine, but more simply the taste and sensation of any good wine was putting riders mind somewhere other than the immediate climb! In this case, the best wine would be whichever one each rider prefers on a hot day!


  5. I agree about the inconvinience of alcohol on the tour, or even in a morning ride. But, if I had to choose one, I would love the rieslings of Mosela.


  6. There isn’t enough wine in the world that would take away the pain if I were to attempt such a feat. I personally do not believe a professional rider would drink wine for that reason alone. If it did help, they would have to ingest more than a few glasses. Perhaps they simply enjoy a nice glass of wine.


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