Download the tourist guide of the stage(2 pages, .pdf)
Download the complete tourist guide(113 pages, .pdf, 55 Mo)
Jim Bilba, a former basketball player, spent the majority of his professional career playing for Cholet, the club which spotted him when he was still playing in Guadeloupe. He was French Champion twice with the CSP Limoges Club and Greek Champion with the AEK Athens Club. He was the captain of the French team and was a silver medal winner at the Sydney Olympic Games.
“I arrived at the Cholet training centre in 1996. I had come from Guadeloupe, in the middle of July. Everyone was on holiday and I didn’t know anybody. But I immediately felt that Cholet was a friendly down-to-earth town. I spent my fi rst Christmas in France with the family of my team mates who played with me in the Espoirs team. I hadn’t my driving licence, so my friends gave me a lift to see the basketball matches in Angers, Nantes, Saint-Laurent-sur-Sèvre, Bressuire or Parthenay. This allowed me to get to know the region better, little by little.
Today my career has ended, but I still live in Cholet as my wife comes from there and I know many people there too. And for me Cholet has some wonderful places like the “Place Travot” which is an ideal setting to have a drink when the weather is good and the “Lac Ribou”, with a restaurant which serves lunch on the lakeside. I also discovered a local wine, the Coteau du Layon, which I particularly like. On a sports level, Cholet is very enthusiastic about its basketball team. But the town also has cycling and ice hockey. Moreover, it was voted the most sporting town in France this year. I am thrilled that Cholet will be a departure town for the Tour. This will create a great interest in the town and allow it to become better known, especially for my father-in law, who is crazy about cycling, riding approximately 250 kilometres each week.”