Saturday, June 26, 2010

One Week 'til Le Tour... and You're All Invited

Just one week from today, the professional cyclists participating in the 97th edition of Le Tour de France will begin their trek, clockwise this year, around the French hexagon.

As quietly threatened not long ago, I intend to do my utmost to deliver daily coverage of the race (not too much detail, there are cycling-specific sites out there for that), centered around the wine, beverage and/or food culture of the area through which each of the 21 stages (plus two rest days) of the race passes.

I'm fully primed to carry the lion's share of the workload myself. However, knowing my own weaknesses, and based on past attempts — always failed — to post every day for a month, I'd be more than glad to hear from any of my readers, wine bloggers or not, who would be interested in guest posting for a stage. It'll certainly be a plus if you're a cycling fan but it's not a prerequisite for participation.

While this may seem a rather straightforward endeavor, bear in mind that, as important a wine producing country as France is, there are fairly large portions of the country where viticulture is either nonexistent or relatively marginal. Making matters more challenging, the first four days of the 2010 edition of Le Tour are being staged not in France but in the Netherlands and Belgium (beer buddies and cheese heads, heed the call). In some cases, creativity will be necessary.

Before I get too deep into suggesting (or even doling out) assignments, I'll give the die hards out there a day or two to ante up on their own. If you'd like to do a little research, here's a link to the map and basic details of this year's course. And if you need a little inspiration, by all means check out Robert Camuto's guest post from last year's edition of Le Tour.

If you have questions or would like to sign-on, feel free to hit the comments or to write to me via the email address you'll find under the "Contact" heading in the left sidebar on the blog. Here's hoping at least a few folks will jump in the saddle without me having to chase them down.

And here's a re-conceptualization of an old classic from Kraftwerk to get you all in the mood.

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