RODEZ, France (AP) — Having scaled the Jura and Vosges mountains within the east and the Pyrenees within the south, the Tour de France winds into the Massif Central, the fourth of 5 ranges the race is using by means of. The Alps are final, subsequent week.

Laissac-Severac L’Eglise, the beginning on Sunday of Stage 15 within the agricultural Aveyron area, is understood for its weekly cattle and sheep market, France’s second largest. Le Puy-en-Velay, the end of the 189.5-kilometer (117-mile) trek, is the beginning of a well-known Christian pilgrimage route and gives all of France with a prized model of lentils.

BAGUETTE AND BUTTER: With 4 notable climbs — together with a troublesome opening uphill slog within the first half-hour — the bumpy stage guarantees arduous racing between prime riders battling for the general win. The surroundings by means of the rugged, rocky and typically austere Massif Central additionally will probably be spectacular.

PLAT DU JOUR: Le Puy’s small, slate-green lentils are utilized in soups or stewed with chunks of lard, onions, carrots, a sprig of thyme and, for these looking for additional taste, a smoked sausage or two. Cooked lentils are additionally served chilly with French dressing as a starter. Though usually eaten al dente, some want their lentils cooked for longer till they’re virtually mushy, like Indian dhal, after which lubricate the combination with beneficiant lashings of olive oil.

VIN DU JOUR: Not a wine however a powerful alcohol, the intense inexperienced Verveine du Velay. Made with a flowering plant, verbena. Its leaves are both macerated in alcohol for weeks or distilled with alcohol. Sugar, spices and herbs are added. Household recipes for the liquor are handed down from one technology to the subsequent. Drunk iced or with tonic water.

CULTURE: Pilgrims have come to Le Puy because the fifth century. Plan for 65 days of strolling to cowl the 1,568-kilometer (974-mile) pilgrimage path to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. After morning mass within the Cathedral of Notre Dame du Puy, pilgrims introduce themselves to a statue of their patron saint, St. James, and say the place they’ve come from and the way far they plan to stroll.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I did not assume I might get again the jersey on a stage like this” — Chris Froome, who took the yellow jersey again off Fabio Aru on Saturday. Aru received left behind on the ultimate quick, sharp climb on the end in Rodez, within the south of France. Having led Froome by six seconds at first of the stage in Blagnac, residence to European plane maker Airbus, Aru trails Froome by 18 seconds.

STAT OF THE DAY: 29. The hole, in seconds, between the highest 4 riders general — unusually shut at this stage of the race.

NEXT ORDER: Monday is a relaxation day, the second and final of this 104th Tour. Riders will take it straightforward forward and recharge their batteries for 2 robust days of climbs in Alps approaching Wednesday and Thursday.

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