Sadly, I have no cheese to recommend to you.
For Christ's sake, this stage is a pan-flat 232 kilometers! In grown-up distances, that's around 125 miles. And, unlike you when you're doing a "century," they are *actually* hammering, not pretending they are hammering.
Do you have any idea how boring this must be for 90% of the racers?
While the sprinters are sitting there looking at each other and their road captains like the little dog bounding around the big mastiff in the old Loony Toons cartoons (Can I sprint now Spike? Can I? Huh? Huh? Please? Just a little one?) everybody else is wondering how to avoid falling asleep on the bike for what is basically a 6 hour session on the rollers.
Sure, they can throw water bottles at the spectators, or pause to take a crap and wipe their butt with a local picnic-er's tablecloth, as Bob Roll claims to have done. But there isn't a lot happening today.
[Update: true to form, the fairly boring stage was taken by the excellent young man from Manx, Mark Cavendish, who won the bunch sprint.]
So what do you do? Why, you drink your mother-loving face off with that Sancerre, and you eat some fresh fruit with it. Just like living in a fraternity, when you read this blog, if you're in doubt, drink up!
Not only is fruit a good compliment to Sancerre, but it is one of the things the Loire is really good at producing. So have some grapes, some apples, some cheese, and if you have to temper it with something... Bacon!
Okay, you don't need to eat bacon, but they are known for white meat dishes in the Loire Valley, and other than the occasional Coq au Vin, by "white meat" I don't mean chicken. Tourangelle soup (vegetable soup made with salt pork), various pork dishes with mushrooms and figs and tomatoes and other fruity bits (this is peasant food here), and for those Rouleurs of a darker persuasion, French soul food - Jargeau sausages, aka stuffed chitlins. Yes, I said "chitlins" and not "chitterlings." But it's okay, chirrets - I speak jive. Lookie here. I can dig grease 'n chompin' on some buns and draggin' through the garden. Anyhow, if you don't have any of that handy, and you need to chomp on something for the last hour of the tape-delayed evening showing of the day's stage, I recommend pork rinds, or perhaps Spam, which I think is made from pig parts but nobody really knows for sure, just that it's worshipped in Hawaai and in my house when I've been on a three day bender.
For tomorrow, the route will go from Aigurande, to Super-Besse, a town named for huge cows with amazing powers, I think.
But seriously, it is going into the heart of the Auvergne region, and to celebrate that, we should take a swing at the St. Agur cheese, a creamy, butterfatty bleu cheese that goes well with fruits like sliced apples. I'll leave it up to Ryan to pick the proper beverage to accompany it.
For stage 8, a trip through the Cantal mountains, we'll need to get some Cantal cheese. That's just a warning for you; more on Cantal tomorrow night.