July 14, 2016

MONT VENTOUX, France (AP) A gastronomical, sporting and cultural glance at Stage 12 of the Tour de France on Thursday:

Region: The 178-kilometer (111-mile) leg began in Montpellier near the Mediterranean coast and took the peloton across the Rhone valley before concluding with the legendary climb to Mont Ventoux in the Vaucluse region. The stage passed by the 15th-century Chateau of Tarascon and scaled the stunning hilltop village of Gordes.

Baguette and butter: Chris Froome was allowed to keep the yellow jersey after the Tour de France race jury ruled he lost his bike in unfair circumstances during a bizarre finale. In a complete embarrassment for race organizers on Bastille Day, Richie Porte crashed into a motorbike carrying a TV camera and Froome, who was right behind his former teammate, also crashed in the final kilometer on the wind-shortened climb to Mont Ventoux. Thomas De Gendt won the wind-shortened stage after getting into an early breakaway.

Plat du jour: La Daube Provencale. A braised beef dish prepared with red wine, celery, garlic and carrots that is a classic of French cuisine. Best served with mashed potatoes or pasta and grated parmesan cheese.

Culture: The peloton passed near the city of Avignon, which every July transforms itself into a gigantic theater scene during its festival of performing arts. Created in 1947 by Jean Vilar, the festival draws more than 150,000 spectators to its free events and for-pay shows. The festival is celebrating its 70th edition.

Vin du jour: After ending his pro cycling career, 1984 Spanish Vuelta champion Eric Caritoux reinvented himself as a wine-grower. Caritoux cultivates a small parcel of land at the foot of Mont Ventoux and sends his grapes to a local wine cooperative. The ''Cuvee Eric Caritoux'' is an affordable dark red wine with a spicy finish.

History: Situated in the Alpilles mountains outside Saint-Remy-de-Provence, the well-preserved archaeological site of Glanum was a Gallic fortified town built around a sacred spring. The city prospered from the 2nd century BC and had many Greek and Roman influences.

Stat of the Day: 11. It's been 11 years since the last French victory on Bastille Day. That last Frenchman to win on a July 14 was David Moncoutie in 2005.

Quote of the Day: ''I don't want to take the jersey like that. I'd rather take it with my legs and not a crash in a bad situation.'' Adam Yates, after race organizers reinstated Chris Froome in the yellow jersey.

Dessert: The city of Apt in Vaucluse is the French capital of candied fruits, one of the best treats of Provence. The locals have been honing their production since the Middle Age, when fruits were preserved in honey before the introduction of sugar in France.

Next order: Stage 13 is a 37.5-kilometer (23.3-mile) individual time trial in the Ardeche region from Bourg-Saint-Andeol to La Caverne du Pont-D'arc. It features a tricky seven-kilometer climb at the start and a hilly finish.

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