It is a story of two spa cities in Stage four of the Tour de France, which travels from Mondorf-Les-Bains, Luxembourg, to Vittel within the Lorraine area of northeastern France on Tuesday.
Lorraine has shifted forwards and backwards between French and German management over the centuries and there are nonetheless areas the place the native dialect is nearer to German than French.
Vittel — not Evian — has been the official mineral water provider and sponsor of the Tour for the final decade, handing out a million bottles to spectators over the course of the race.
Here is a gastronomic, sporting and cultural look on the day’s route:
BAGUETTE AND BUTTER: The largely flat 207.5-kilometer (129-mile) stage ought to set effectively for a mass dash end, though winds within the second half of the stage might break up the peloton and turn into an element. Nonetheless, Geraint Thomas is predicted to maintain the yellow jersey.
PLAT DU JOUR: Quiche lorraine. One in every of France’s most generally exported dishes is a flaky-crusted open pie historically made with eggs, cream and lardons (small strips or cubes of pork fats). Good for brunch, this savory dish may also be loved at lunch or dinner.
CULTURE: A frog honest is held in Vittel every spring. Guests can style “grenouilles” (frog thighs) cooked each which means — grilled with parsely, smothered in snail butter or stuffed inside omelettes are simply a few of the most well-liked strategies.
VIN DU JOUR: Cotes de Toul vin gris. Whereas the time period vin gris (which interprets as “grey wine”) can typically be a deterrent, that is not the case with this delicate light-pink rose made in eight villages surrounding Toul, a city positioned three-quarters of the best way into the stage route.
HISTORY: One of many first cities alongside the route, Schengen in Luxembourg, was the place an settlement was signed in 1985 that enabled passport-free journey in mainland Europe.
STAT OF THE DAY: three. The variety of nations that the Tour handed by way of in Stage three on Monday: Belgium, Luxembourg and France.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “You have to have fun each victory. But when I drink alone they name me a drunkard. I choose to drink with my teammates.” — Stage three winner Peter Sagan, the world champion.
DESSERT: Bonbons des Vosges. These fruit- and herb-based exhausting candies are offered all through France however they’re in all places within the Vosges space the place this stage concludes.
DIGESTIF: Mirabelle plum brandy. At as much as 45 p.c proof, this artisanal liqueur must be consumed responsibly.
NEXT ORDER: Stage 5 on Wednesday concludes with the primary severe climb of the Tour. The 160.5-kilometer (100-mile) leg begins in Vittel and winds its strategy to La Planche Des Belles Filles with a brief however steep ending ascent that includes a leg-breaking 20-percent gradient within the closing meters.
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