Taste of the Tour: Creamy cheese in 'Venice of the Alps'

Colombia's Rigoberto Uran, left, rides in the pack over a cobblestone section of the ninth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 156.5 kilometers (97.2 miles) with start in Arras and finish in Roubaix, France, Sunday, July 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena )

ROUBAIX, France (AP) — At long last, it's time to climb.

But while the Tour de France's cyclists face the first of a triple-header of mountain stages in the Alps, the mere mortals in tow can relax in the "Venice of the Alps" and dip into France's second largest lake as well as taste some extra creamy cheese.

After Monday's rest day — following the cobblestones of Stage 9 — beside lovely Lake Annecy , riders face a 158.5-kilometer (98.5-mile) haul from Annecy that takes them over four serious climbs before a descent to Le Grand-Bornand.

Here's a gastronomic, sporting and cultural glance at Tuesday's Stage 10 route:

BAGUETTE AND BUTTER: Pay attention to the day's second climb up the beyond-category Montee du Plateau des Glieres, whose steep slope includes two kilometers of gravel.

PLAT DU JOUR: So close to Switzerland, the Savoie region shares the traditional Swiss melted cheese dishes of fondue and raclette.

VIN DU JOUR: A glass of Apremont white wine. Dry and light, there is perhaps nothing better to take in the Alpine peaks.

CULTURE: With its canals, river and lakeshore, Annecy has earned the nickname of the "Venice of the Alps." Its "Bridge of Love" offers great views of the 12-kilometer long Lake Annecy that fills a mountain gorge at 448 meters above sea level.

HISTORY: Lake Annecy has revealed evidence of prehistoric dwellings that were constructed on its surface atop poles. Researchers have found remains of 40 such sites in the lake, France's second largest after Lake Bourget.

STAT OF THE DAY: 3— The number of riders that have won both a cobbled stage at the Tour and the Paris-Roubaix single-day cobbled race after John Degenkolb won Sunday's Stage 9.

DESSERT: Nibble on a Roseaux du Lac (Reeds of the Lake), an Annecy specialty. They aren't pulled up from the water's depths but are sugar sticks covered in chocolate and filled with a local liqueur such as chartreuse or genepy.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Suffering like I've never suffered before" — Lawson Craddock after riding over the jarring cobblestones of Roubaix with a fractured shoulder.

FROMAGE: Le Grand-Bornand is home to reblochon cheese. This whole-milk cheese comes in two varieties. A green label means all the milk comes from one cow herd, while a red label shows it comes from various herds. It can be bought at a market that sets up shop in the village every Wednesday dating back to 1795.

NEXT ORDER: Stage 11 on Wednesday is Part II of the mountain trilogy: a 108.5-kilometer (67.4-mile) ride from Albertville to the top of the La Rosiere summit.


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