After days of indulgence, there’ll solely be time for fast picnics for the roadside spectators on Stage 13 of the Tour de France on Friday.
The shortest route of this 12 months’s race, other than the time trials, guarantees to be so quick and livid — with riders zipping up and down three mountain climbs in below three hours — that there will be no time for a full-course meal.
However with pates, dried sausages, cheeses, hams, honeys and preserves galore to select from within the Pyrenees, there’s ample filling for a crusty baguette. This is a sporting, gastronomic and cultural information to Friday’s 101 kilometers (63 miles) from Saint-Girons to Foix, all within the Pyrenees’ Ariege area.
BAGUETTE AND BUTTER: Solely the time trials on Phases 1 and 20, when riders race individually towards the clock, are shorter than this street stage. Organizers predict the winner may cowl the gap in as little as two and half hours. That compares to greater than 5 hours on the longest phases, which are greater than twice this distance. However whereas being mini in dimension, the stage isn’t any child. It contains three Class 1 climbs — the second-hardest issue ranking. Organizers hope the mix of ascents and brevity will encourage riders to assault from the beginning, which may make for spectacular racing on France’s July 14 nationwide vacation.
PLAT DU JOUR: Azinat. The recipe for this farmers’ stew varies from village to village in Ariege. In actual fact, it is two dishes in a single. First, the liquid from the stew is eaten as soup, poured over hunks of bread coated with grilled cheese. Then the extra substantial combination of slow-boiled cabbage, carrots, potatoes, ham, sausage and confit duck thighs is served as the principle course. The sausage will be made with pork liver, floor right into a paste, stuffed into sausage skins and left to dry for a few month.
HISTORY: Overlooking the city from a rock, Foix’s 11th-century citadel is an imposing fortress with thick, excessive partitions. Within the Center Ages, the citadel was reputed to be unassailable. A well-liked native track within the Occitan language of southern France claims: “El cateles es tant fortz qu’el mezis se defent,” — The citadel is so sturdy it might probably defend itself.
VIN DU JOUR: With the Pyrenees’ lofty peaks too excessive for vines, enterprise additional afield to Fronton and Gaillac north of Toulouse for fruity reds and cheerful roses. In Ariege itself there are a number of brewers of boutique beers. Additionally price a tipple is hypocras: a wine-based aperitif that dates again to medieval instances, flavored with rose petals, ginger, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and caramel.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Sporting the yellow jersey is an indescribable emotion” — Italian Fabio Aru, the brand new race chief, on taking biking’s most well-known jersey off the shoulders of its earlier proprietor, Chris Froome. A 3-time Tour champion, Froome cracked on Thursday’s savagely steep uphill end on the Peyragudes ski station.
STAT OF THE DAY: 6. The hole, in seconds, between Aru and the now second-place Froome total. The Briton had an 18-second lead over Aru firstly of the stage in Pau.
DESSERT: Mesturet. This dessert will seem immediately acquainted to People: It is pumpkin pie, however with a French twist — no pie crust and flamed with a glass of Cognac or Armagnac. The mix of steamed pumpkin cubes, eggs, sugar, butter, spices and orange zest is baked in a pie dish, doused with the liquor, ignited and served with whipped or ice cream.
NEXT ORDER: Stage 14 on Saturday from Blagnac, dwelling of plane maker Airbus, finishes 181.5 kilometers (112 miles) later with a brief however sharp hill in Rodez. A stage tailored for highly effective riders who’re sturdy on the flat however who may also climb shortly over quick distances.
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