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acabre twist for mountains king Kroon, Germany prepared to welcome Tour - and euros, chef defends r

acabre twist for mountains king Kroon, Germany prepared to welcome Tour - and euros, chef defends r

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Mountains jersey with a shiver
For a non-climber riding in the polka-dot jersey is a special feeling. But for Rabobank's Karsten Kroon, who earned the jersey after participating in the long breakaway in Thursday's stage, taking that honour has come with a macabre twist. The last time he won a climber's jersey was in the Vuelta in 2001. "Quite bizarre. It wasn't until after the stage that I heard of the big attacks in London. I immediately thought of 2001 when I won the mountains jersey in the Vuelta. That was on September 11. I have to admit that it gave me a shiver," says Kroon on the team's website.

Le Tour - big business in Germany
About one million people are expected to line the roads as Germany welcomes the Tour de France on Friday and Saturday. Karlsruhe, Friday's arrival town and the hometown of Karl Drais, who in 1817 invented the Draisine - the predecessor to the pushbike - has turned the visit of La Grande Boucle into a four-day festival. But it's not just an opportunity for the spectators to see the rolling circus pass by, it's also big business. "We hope to top the 15 million euros turnover that Saarbrcken made three years ago," says Karlsruhe mayor Heinz Feinrich to German newspaper Die Welt. That estimate only goes for Karlsruhe and doesn't include Pforzheim, Saturday's start town, or other smaller places that has the Tour going by.

Steaks with a pulse
It's normal that the teams bring their own chefs for the Tour to take care of the team's meals. Thor Hushovd took it a step further when he decided to take his mother along to keep him supplied with real home cooking. But 'foreign chefs' aren't welcomed everywhere. A couple of days ago Gerolsteiner's chefs simply weren't allowed into the kitchen of the team's hotel. "The chef defended his realm with a butcher's knife, so we had steaks so bloody that one could almost still see a pulse," writes Robert Frster in his diary on Radsport-news.com.

Stories by Susanne Horsdal

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