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Tour de France 2018 diary Stage 20

Tour de France 2018 diary Stage 20: ITV4

Tom Dumoulin looked truly and simply happy when interviewed after the stage.

He explained that his clothing sponsor had made a new World Champion's time trial suit that morning, after the original was lost. Then, the timing was mucked up, and when he crossed the line, nobody knew if he or Froome had won. There must be some professional pride that goes with being the World Champion, so to win this race, after nineteen other demanding stages of the Tour, is a great achievement. It was clear that it was satisfying to the Dutchman.

Froome dealt with the timing mix-up with smiles. 'Grace under pressure' might be his devise.

Thomas backed off in the second half of his time trial, to make sure he didn't fall over. That was probably a good idea. The other riders seem delighted about his Tour win, which says something good about his character.

ITV's Tour de France coverage moves to the main channel tomorrow for the final, and lamest, stage.

Tour de France 2018 diary Stage 20: the Cycling Podcast

In an interview, Dan Martin said that one of the reasons he joined his current team was to bring cycling to the people of the UAE. The Brummie-born Irishman is an exciting rider to watch, and such an open, friendly, cheerful chap, but do you mind if I take this mission statement with a pinch of salt?

Super-happies: 6

Iconics: 3

Correct predictions of stage winners on this website: 3 out of 20.

Tour de France 2018 diary Stage 20: comments

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Stage 21, Tour de France 2018

Froome & Tony Martin, Paris, TDF 2017

Froome & Tony Martin, Paris, TDF 2017, by youkeys, Licence CC BY 2.0

Stage 21 of the Tour de France 2018 is the traditional final stage to the Champs-Elysées in Paris. This year, it starts in Houilles, and heads into Paris via the Bois de Boulogne.

Read about Stage 21 of the 2018 Tour de France.

Stage 20, Tour de France 2018: towns, sights and attractions

Stage 20, Tour de France 2018: Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle

Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle, Town Hall

Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle Town Hall, by Havang(NL), Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle is a village in the Basque province of Labourd, and the Pyrénées-Atlantiques département of France. The village is called Senpere in Basque. It;s not far from the Basque coast, in particular the resort of Saint-Jean-de-Luz. It's known for the Lac de Saint-Pée, south east of the village, where water sports are practised.

The village is on the river Nivelle, and several streams join the river there.

The commune of Saint-Pée falls within the area that may produce piment d'Espelette (chili peppers) and ossau-iraty (cheese from raw sheep's milk).

Stage 20, Tour de France 2018: Espelette

Espelette

Hotel in Espelette, with drying chili peppers on the façade, by Harrieta171, Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

Espelette is a small town with a population of around 2,000, in the Labourd province of the Basque country, and the Pyrénées-Atlantiques département of France.

There was a major gypsum quarry here, producing material used to make porcelaine.

Espelette is known as a centre for the production of red chili peppers, which are hung outside houses in the summer, to dry. These chilis are used in Bayonne ham, and in dark chocolate. Espelette chili peppers aren't very hot, but they have a strong and agreeable taste.

Other local agricultural products include cheeses and animal hides.

The first ever Miss France (1920), Agnes Souret, was from Espelette, and is buried in the church graveyard.

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