After the flat terrain and wooded valleys of Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg, the Tour de France goes up in altitude on Wednesday, climbing into the dense pine forests of the Vosges Massif in japanese France — considered one of 5 mountain ranges the race is scaling this 12 months.

In late summer season and autumn, the forests turn into the enchanted house for an astounding array of mushrooms of all shapes, sizes and colours, pushing by way of the springy cushions of pine leaves underfoot.

Morels, chanterelles, porcinis and different mushrooms cry out to be picked by those that can inform edible varieties from toxic ones. Pharmacists are sometimes keen to advise should you’re uncertain.

Wednesday’s 160.5-kilometer (100-mile) Stage 5 from the spa city of Vittel winds up on the Planche des Belles Filles ski resort, the primary powerful climbing problem for riders aiming to win in Paris on July 23.

Here is a gastronomic, sporting and cultural look to the stage that ought to present which riders are match sufficient to harbor real ambitions for the race chief’s yellow jersey:

BAGUETTE AND BUTTER: The 5.9-kilometer (three.1-mile) last climb to an altitude of 1,035 meters (three,395 toes) has some severely steep sections that ought to see battles between climbers like Colombian Nairo Quintana and three-time champion Chris Froome, who received his first-ever Tour stage victory right here in 2012.

PLAT DU JOUR: Cancoillotte cheese is as a lot of a mouthful to eat as it’s to pronounce. The creamy, wealthy fondue is created from dried flakes of curdled cow’s milk which might be rehydrated with sizzling water or sizzling milk and butter, and served with potatoes or ladled onto bread. Pungent and tangy, it’s an acquired style. Additionally price attempting: smoked Montbeliard sausage, from floor pork spiced with cumin — beautiful with lentils.

VIN DU JOUR: Not a wine, however a firewater. The midpoint of Stage 5 is the village of Fougerolles, which lends its identify to a superb cherry brandy and is surrounded by cherry orchards. Blessed with sandstone soils and pure waters, the village holds a cherry pageant within the first weekend of July. The fruit are fermented with the pits, for no less than 5 weeks, with out being heated and with out the addition of sugar or yeast. After distillation, the brandy is then matured for years.

CULTURE: The Chapel of Notre-Dame du Haut, in Ronchamp, in-built 1955 by modernist architect Le Corbusier, is a shocking must-visit, perched on a hill, with commanding views of the Jura and Vosges mountains the Tour is driving by way of. Crafted from cement, the chapel is a masterpiece of area and the usage of gentle. Its roof is formed like a crab shell.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I am not a fan of him placing his elbow in me like that” — British rider Mark Cavendish on Peter Sagan, the world champion who was disqualified from the Tour on Tuesday for inflicting a crash that put Cavendish in hospital and introduced down a number of others in a ending dash in Vittel.

STAT OF THE DAY: 1. The variety of phases received by Sagan at this Tour earlier than he was thrown out.

NEXT ORDER: At 216 kilometers (134 miles), Stage 6 from Vesoul to Troyes on Thursday is the second-longest of this Tour. The route by way of champagne nation has a few notable hills however ought to end in one other frenetic mass dash.

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