If you are watching the stage right now (and you should, it’s already pretty good) you will hear the word ‘puy’ quite a lot throughout the afternoon. A puy is a volcanic hill/mountain and the area that the peloton is riding through right is filled with them. Actually, the stage is basically bookended with two puys: famous Puy de Dôme and the final climb, Puy Mary. If you know your Tour history a little then you’ll know that the Puy de Dôme was the theatre for an epic battle between Jacques Anquetil and Raymond Poulidor in 1964. Even if you don’t remember this story, I’ll bet you recognize the photo.
I had my own battle on the Puy Mary in 2012 with Erik Owens, but this is about as close as I got to his shoulders.
Back to the Puy de Dôme, you can’t climb this mountain anymore except for one single day every year. If you want to get to the top, you either take a little train or hike. Either way, the views from the top are worth the price.