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Bienvenue Au Pays
by Jacqueline Taïeb

Peter Sagan won yesterday's stage. This was Sagan's 12th stage win in his 8th Tour de France (with 22 second places). The rest of the stage wasn't very exciting, so we had loads of helicopter views of beautiful castles, cute little villages and the wonderful landscape of L'Alsace and the Vosges.

This morning, we lost a first rider from the peloton. Newzealander Patrick Bevin had to abandon after he fractured two ribs at an unlucky crash yesterday, about 50km before the finish. The courageous rider did finish the stage first and even tried to have a night sleep before he decided to abandon this morning!.

Yesterday's stage in a little over 4 minutes:

For the next few days, the big strong sprinters can relax and will have to try to survive the hills and the mountains. It's time for the lean and mean mountain goats of the peloton. The riders start for today's stage 6 in Mulhouse, visited by the Tour for the 17th time since 1925.

They will climb over no less than 7 mountain tops, including the famous Grand Ballon, to finish at the steep (up to 22%) and partly unpaved(!) La Planche des Belles Filles in the Vosges at a height of 1140 meters. Belles Filles (Beautiful Girls) actually is a corruption of the 16th century name Belles Fahys (Pretty Beech Trees) but the Regional Tourist Board nevertheless provides a good legend with a few local beauties, virgins I presume.

According to this legend, in the time of the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648), young women from Plancher-les-Mines fled into the mountains to escape Swedish mercenaries as they feared being raped and massacred. Rather than surrender, they decided to commit suicide and jumped into a lake far below. One of the soldiers then took a board on which, with his dagger, he engraved an epitaph for the "beautiful girls". A wooden statue, created by a local artist in 2012, is a reminder of the legend.

With a finish on top of Des Belles Filles it seems appropriate to juke a track from a Canadian semi-bootleg compilation album called Ultra chicks Volume 4 - Yé Yé Girls, an album with French female singers from the 60s. Here's the complete album

Jacqueline Taïeb is a French singer and songwriter of Tunisian descent. The title 'Bienvenue au Pays' means Welcome to the Country. Yes, the lyrics are quite cynical.
1967 - Impact - France - day 6 - at the start of today's stage, paris is still 2.665 km in 16 stages to go
Posted: 11th July 2019
Paul L
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