Time for the GC contenders to come out to play! This 160km stage has two categorised climbs. The Cat 3 Côte d’Esmoulièrs starts not long after the intermediate sprint point, but it’s the Planche des Belles Filles that is the big drawcard, not least because it offers our new commentators the chance to tell the story behind the place name. Naturally, this morning’s news has been dominated by fallout from the finish of stage four and it will be interesting to see what impact this has on the peloton. Thomas is still in yellow, which has not offered him protection from multiple crashes this Tour. Yesterday’s winner, FDJ’s Demare, is in Green, while Brown and LaTour retain the Dots and the White jersey respectively.
We had some splendid vaches-spotting last night! Will our luck continue tonight? Looking back through the archives, today’s local bovine breed, the Vosges, was mentioned by Paul Sherwen during stage 8 of the 2011 tour. I’m not quite sure why, as that stage was in the heart of Limousin country, although trying to map the tangential threads of our beloved former commentators’ meanderings is almost impossible after the fact. Suffice to say, he advised us that the cattle were brought to France by Swedish infantrymen and it is Swedish mercenaries who are implicated in the tragedy of the PdBF story. Hmmmm. I don’t think we have ever spotted these beauties, but there is a first time for everything.
Image: Cyrille Bernizet
With the Vosges comes one of my favourite stinky cheeses: Munster. Unsurprisingly, I also recommended this cheese when the Tour debuted the PdBF and I’m definitely going to be having some tonight.
The Drinks List’s Tour Survival Kit selection for this stage is the Hugel ‘Gentil’ 2015 , which
bring(s) together the noble, but slightly uncool, five-some of Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Muscat & Sylvaner. The nose is as exotic as the blend suggests, while the palate is medium bodied & beautifully balanced. Drink it with Singapore noodles.
Okay, so Singapore noodles aren’t exactly traditional, but maybe keep those flavours in mind if you’re buying crunchy snacks…
It’s good to see that some members of the couch peloton are experimenting with the not-the-Taste-le-Tour food recommendations. Rusty’s tarte flambée last night looked sensational!
— rusty (@mativity) July 4, 2017