Marcoussis village (Picture: Elodie Laborie)
Marcoussis is situated 26 kilometres to the south of Paris as the crow flies, in the eastern part of Hurepoix, a former region of Ile-de-France. Municipality of the Essonne, near to Montlhéry, it has a population of 7,860 (Marcoussissiens). From its past, Marcoussis has kept the château de Montagu, a 15th century fortified manor. Since 2002, the Bellejame Estate is home to the National Rugby Centre (CNR) where the French rugby team resides. A research centre, Marcoussis contains many scientific laboratories. Highly animated, the town hosts a wealth of cultural and festive events: the «Elfondurock» festival for women’s day, the Bineau carnival, the soap box race, the strawberry festival… Marcoussis is twinned with Waldsassen (Germany), Bérégadougou (Burkina Faso) and Marianske Lazne (Czech Republic).
Leading the pack in Paris streets... (Picture: A.S.O.)
The grand finale of the ultimate stage of the Tour de France is a spectacular show and a supreme honour and triumph for the riders who have succeeded in avoiding all the traps and difficulties of a three week long race. For this jewel of the cycling world, the city of Paris is the most beautiful location imaginable, set with monuments and sites of incomparable beauty (the Louvre Museum, the Arc de Triomphe, Place de la Concorde, Rue de Rivoli, the Champs-Elysées). The final stage is spectacularly filmed by France Télévisions, whose pictures, broadcast worldwide, present the Tour and the French capital in all their finery. It is also exclusively reserved to sprinters or, to be more precise, to sprinters who have crossed the mountains without mishap like the Norwegian rider, Thor Hushovd, winner of the prologue in Strasbourg and the last stage in Paris in 2006…; only extraordinary champions can simultaneously wear the green jersey and the polka dotted jersey: Eddy Merckx (the hat trick: yellow, green and best climber jersey in 1969), Bernard Hinault or Laurent Jalabert.