Stage 6: Vesoul > Troyes

We’re in for another long one. 216km with a few lumps and bumps along the route, headed towards a flat finish. Tonight’s game? I dunno, pick a sprinter and you get bragging rights if they make absolutely no deviation from their line after launching? I’m giving this stage  🥕☕️    🥕☕️   🥕☕️   🥕☕️ out of five. 

I know there are a few of us in the couch peloton who are desperately hoping that Robbie McEwan is some sort of oracle and that his comment “the person in yellow after stage five will not win the tour” is prescient. Otherwise we could be in for a guided Sky tour of France. If that happens, just sit back, enjoy the scenery, continue the cow spotting (and excellent screen-grabbing!), snark the field art and try not to get too distracted when McKeeno throws random tasks in your direction.

After a slow start to the Tour’s cheese plate, we have two pretty good options for this stage. Back in 2012 we talked about these – Chaorce and Langres – and they are available here if you have a good cheesemonger. (And both pair nicely with the region’s wine – champagne. Go ahead, it’s Thursday!) There’s also a local cheese called Caprice des Dieux, which is a big seller in France, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland “and even Quebec”, according to their publicity. I think I’ll stick with the Langres.

1447691709_Fromage-Langres-Jean-Francois-Feutriez_zoom Image: Tourisme Langres

With all this cheese, you’d expect to see some cattle. None of the local cheeses are tied to a specific breed, so we can expect to see some Holsteins and perhaps Jerseys. Oh, and we are still in glass-making country, so stay tuned for some more glamazing facts.

 

 

Stage 6: Épernay > Metz

This 207.5km stage is the last of the flats until stage 13, so you can be sure the sprinters will be all over it. The intermediate sprint point comes at 135.5km and the only climb of the day – a Cat 4 – follows less than 10km after it. The final three kilometres have proved treacherous during these sprint-friendly stages; hopefully tonight we’ll break the jinx and have a hard-fought sprint that doesn’t leave us wondering who might have been left on the road and how badly they are injured. The Lotto team will be fired up after Griepel’s second consecutive stage win, but I can’t be alone in wanting to see one last Sagan celebration before the mountains, can I?

We start today in Champagne-Ardenne and finish in the capital of Lorraine. Celebrate the end of the sleep-deprived working week with a glass or two of the region’s eponymous sparkling wine – it would be a pity to waste such a good opportunity, wouldn’t it?

There is no cattle breed specific to this area, however there are a number of cows milk cheeses from the region.  This must be where the Prim’holsteins – which make up about 60% of the dairy herd in France – come in.

Image: Parisbug

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