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Each year I make the same Adam Hansen joke and fail to drink the wines of the Vuelta. This year, because of a decision made while suffering from Tour induced sleep deprivation, I am drinking what we could call a "half-Vuelta." I'll not have a wine for every stage. but thanks to the help of Christy at Frankly Wines, I have ten bottles lined up for stages during the race.
Hard to believe that another edition of the Tour is over. I am pretty delighted by Vincenzo Nibali's victory. He rode a wonderful race from start to finish and as some readers may know, I've been a fan of his racing style for years. Other highlights: cobbles, Tony Martin and two Frenchmen on the podium.
Where are we: Évry - Paris Champs-Élysées 137.5km Le Tour link: http://www.letour.com/le-tour/2014/us/stage-21.html LeTour preview: The pictures of the 2013 apotheosis, with the pack riding past the Louvre and around the Arc de Triomphe, are still fresh in everyone's minds.
Where are we: Bergerac / Périgueux Le Tour link: http://www.letour.com/le-tour/2014/us/stage-20.html Starting in Bergerac.
Where are we: Maubourguet Pays du Val d'Adour / Bergerac Le Tour link: http://www.letour.com/le-tour/2014/us/stage-19.html An area of plains and hills, the Pays du Val d'Adour is at the crossroads of the Béarn, Bigorre and Gascogne cultures.I think we should visit a market: Country markets contain treasures and are perpetual invitation to sit at the table.
Where are we: Pau / Hautacam Le Tour link: http://www.letour.com/le-tour/2014/us/stage-18.html In Pau, how about a visit to the birthplace of a king? More info from the local tourist website: The national museum of the Castle of Pau: This superb royal residence is above all the birthplace of Henry IV, King of France and Navarre.
Where are we: Saint-Gaudens / Saint-Lary Pla d'Adet Le Tour link: http://www.letour.com/le-tour/2014/us/stage-17.html Saint-Gaudens: The local tourist website tells me that Saint-Gaudens is an administrative centre (sous-préfecture) for the south of the Haute-Garonne département, at an altitude of 405m on a ledge overlooking the Valley of the Garonne.
Where are we: Carcassonne / Bagnères-de-Luchon Le Tour link:http://www.letour.com/le-tour/2014/us/stage-16.html From the tourist website: The Legend of Dame Carcas The Saracen occupation inspired medieval writers to create one of our most famous legends, with of course Charlemagne as the hero! The emperor set siege to Carcassonne.
Where are we: Tallard to Nimes Le Tour Link:http://www.letour.com/le-tour/2014/us/stage-15.html Tallard is 20 km (12 mi) to the south of Gap and on the road from Gap to Marseille. The A51 ends just to the south of the village at La Saulce.
Where are we: Grenoble / Risoul Le Tour link: http://www.letour.com/le-tour/2014/us/stage-14.html Our regional trivia: Some regional specialties from a Grenoble website: • Three varieties of the AOC Grenoble walnut exist : Franquette, Mayette, and Parisian.
Where are we: Saint-Étienne / Chamrousse Le Tour link: http://www.letour.com/le-tour/2014/us/stage-13.html We start where we finished yesterday.
Where are we: Bourg-en-Bresse / Saint-Étienne Le Tour link: http://www.letour.com/le-tour/2014/us/stage-12.html Bourg-en-Bresse is located at the western base of the Jura mountains, on the left bank of the Reyssouze, a tributary of the Saône. It lies 70 kilometers (43 mi) northeast of Lyon and at 50 kilometers (31 mi) of Lons-le-Saunier.