Where are we? Still in La Manche, Normandy traveling 182 kilometers from Saint-Lô to Cherbourg-en-Cotentin.
Capital of the horse, Saint-Lô gives a place of honor to this animal known as “man’s best friend”: the State stud farm offers many visits, and every year in August, meetings such asthe “Normandy Horse Show” are organised. Saint-Lô boasts a strong cultural identity: library, arts museum, Norman Bocage Museum, arts and music schools, theatre, multiscreen cinema. The town supports music festivals such as “ Rendez-vous Soniques”, a song festival…Spearhead for rock in la Manche, Saint-Lô is also home to the arts workshop “Ateliers Arts Plume”.
Specialities: Antan hams, Chevaliers d'Argouges (chocolate), Asinerie Lisane (products manufactured using donkey's milk), Lehodey Vanibois (basketry)
Cherbourg-en-Cotentin From the local tourism site: Cherbourg, gateway to America. A favourite port of call for cruise-liners, the city welcomed visitors in the transatlantic harbour station, built in 1933 in the art-deco style.Cherbourg saw, during half a century, thousands of immigrants boarding for the New World. Stars also embarked here for New-York: Charlie Chaplin, Elisabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Salvador Dali... From art to nature, you will find in Cherbourg multiple opportunities to enlighten your stay: the Thomas Henry Museum, the former Royal mirror-glass factory, the heights of the Roule mountain (117 metres), the sea views from the “Hauts de Capel” park.
Specialities: Demoiselles de Cherbourg (small lobsters cooked in broth), salmon, seafood. Le Véritable Cherbourg umbrellas Christian
Prudhomme's comment: On the menu from Saint-Lô, the chef-lieu of the Manche area and a journey through the west coast all the way to Cherbourg-en-Cotentin. That's where the race will get harder with a first ever finish at the summit of the Côte de La Glacerie. A 3-km climb with a passage at 14%, therefore meaning seconds to be gained for the stage contenders and the favorites of the Tour.
The stage: Rain and Cav in yellow. Cycling News reports that Cav thinks he will keep the jersey: “There’s 20 days left and you can’t burn the candle at both ends. We have to get back to business. For me and the team it’s an honour to wear the yellow jersey and we’ll defend it with honour. Once upon a time I would have been quite up for this stage but there’s more puncheurs around and it’s a stage for Edvald [Boasson Hagen] who did a great ride yesterday. He’s a bit banged up but he did a fantastic job for us yesterday. We’ll do what we can for him and try and put him in the best position. I want to do the jersey justice, it’s a big day for the team and for Africa.”
The breakaway riders of the day are Voss, Stuyven, Benedetti and Breen. With 130 kilometers remaining in the stage and live pictures on my television they had about 4:35 over the peloton.
Crash in the pelton and Contador was held up. He was two minutes down but with the help of almost all of his teammates, would make it back to the bunch.
Approaching 100 kilometers to go and the gap was at 6:50. Also, sunshine.
Seventy kilometers to go and the gap was down to five minutes, thanks to the field's acceleration at the sprint point. Greipel took the "win" from the field. Sixty kilometers to go and the gap was back to six minutes.
In honor of the work of Cavendish's team, the LeTour twitter decided to run a poll:
Où s'arrêtera le relais de @StevoCummings ? / When will @StevoCummings stop leading the peloton ? #TDF2016— Le Tour de France (@LeTour) July 3, 2016
Fifty kilometers to go anf the gap was still over five minutes. Time for the peloton to wake up. Thrity five kilometrs to go and it had dropped to four minutes. NBCSN reported a tailwind, which would help. Meanwhile Jens Voigt was still holding out hope for the break.
#fieldart of le tour so far, vache art and heart of Normandy, tres bonne #sbstdf #TDF2016 pic.twitter.com/8Eg1TnmrXE— Petite Vache (@MadameVache) July 3, 2016
Twenty five kilometers to go and the gap was still over three minutes. Ahead, Benedetti had been dropped from the break. Twenty kilometers to go and three minutes.
LeTour had confidence in the break:
L'échappée vers la victoire ! / The break is heading to a stage win! #TDF2016 pic.twitter.com/mFhKC6XkSU— Le Tour de France (@LeTour) July 3, 2016
As the break climbed, Stuyven attacked and rode away solo. Behind, a flat for Richie Porte and a very slow wheel change. He will lose time. Ahead, the gap to Stuyven was dropping. Two kilometers and fifty one seconds. And then they could see him. Caught and there came the stage favorites. Sagan!
The stage: Peter Sagan
GC: Peter Sagan
The wine: La Pere Jules Pommeau
From the producer: This product is the result of the subtle marriage of freshly pressed apple cider and Calvados that has been aged for one year. Afterward, it is aged in oak barrels for several years, where the flavor will be transformed to result in a finished product with a smooth harmonious taste filled with aromas. It’s the “aperitif,” or before dinner drink, par excellence from Normandy.All of our products are made from apple and pear varieties that are carefully selected from traditional orchards of tall trees in a protected area of controlled production (AOC).
I say: The last two years of Tour pommeaus have taught me that I am a fan. Plus, the pear cider from this producer was a hit. Lovely, pear, delicate, smooth and round.
The food: Pont-L'Evêque cheese Originally manufactured in the area around the commune of Pont-l'Évêque, between Deauville and Lisieux in the Calvados département of Basse-Normandie. It is probably the oldest Norman cheese still in production. It is a cow's milk cheese, with a washed rind. You can learn a lot more here. Creamy, but also full bodied. Savory.