Taste of the Tour: Crozets and Tomme cheese in the Savoie
SAINT-GERVAIS-LES-BAINS, France (AP) A gastronomical, sporting and cultural glance at Stage 19 of the Tour de France on Friday:
REGION: The short 146-kilometer (91-mile) stage from Albertville to Saint-Gervais featured four climbs highlighted by the beyond-category Montee de Bisanne located 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the finish – making its Tour debut – and the uphill conclusion to the Evasion Mont Blanc ski resort in the Haute-Savoie region in the shadows of Mont Blanc.
BAGUETTE AND BUTTER: Rain and crashes wreaked havoc as overall leader Chris Froome crashed and Romain Bardet posted the first French victory at this year's race. Froome quickly borrowed a teammate's bike and kept his then-torn yellow jersey after crossing the finish line 36 seconds behind Bardet, who climbed to second overall. Froome holds a lead of 4 minutes, 11 seconds over Bardet, with two-time runner-up Nairo Quintana of Colombia moving up to third, 4:27 back.
PLAT DU JOUR: Crozets. Made with wheat and/or buckwheat, the ''pasta'' of the Savoie is cut into small, flat and square pieces. Perfect when served with onions sauteed in Savoie butter with grated Tomme or Beaufort cheese, plus the local diots (sausages).
CULTURE: The Annecy International Animation Film Festival was created in 1960 and is held each June in Annecy, the largest city of the Haute-Savoie.
VIN DU JOUR: Mondeuse red wines from the Savoie are made with grapes bearing the same name that are very similar to Syrah. The result is a powerful and aromatic beverage with notes of cherries and black pepper.
HISTORY: Albertville, host city for the 1992 Winter Olympics, was last used as the start of a Tour stage in 2012. French rider Pierre Rolland won the stage in La Toussuire with a solo breakaway after crashing on a descent. Rolland also crashed in Friday's stage, recovering to cross 32nd.
STAT OF THE DAY: 66. The number of seconds separating second-place Romain Bardet from fifth-place Richie Porte in the overall standings – setting up a big fight for the podium positions in Saturday's final competitive stage in the Alps.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: ''I'm lucky that nothing is seriously injured. I just lost a bit of skin.'' overall leader Chris Froome after crashing on a slippery descent.
DESSERT: Tomme de Savoie cheese. Made with cow's milk, this semi-firm variety is the only French cheese to be divided by levels of fat.
NEXT ORDER: Stage 20 on Saturday is the final stage in the Alps before the mostly ceremonial finale on the Champs-Elysees in Paris on Sunday. The stage follows a 146.5 (91-mile) route over four climbs from Megeve to Morzine. From the top of the beyond-category Col de Joux Plane there is a long, technical and high-speed descent to Morzine.