Roman brick and tiles provide Toulouse with its colorful cityscape, and its nickname of Pink City (Picture: City of Toulouse â€“ Patrice Nin)
25 times a stage town
First time in 1903, winner : Hippolyte Aucouturier
Last time in 2003, winner : Juan Antonio Flecha
Prefecture of Haute-Garonne Pop : 440, 000
With some 435,000 inhabitants â€“ over 800,000 in its greater metropolitan area â€“ Toulouse lies at the heart of Midi- PyrÃ©nÃ©es, Franceâ€™s largest regional district. Ideally located between the Mediterranean (150 km away), the Atlantic (250 km) and the Pyrenean ski slopes (110 km), Toulouse is twinned with Atlanta (USA), Kiev (Ukraine), Tel Aviv (Israel), Bologna (Italy), Elche (Spain) and Chon-Qing (China). As for sports and outdoor activities, Toulouse boasts 228 km of cycling paths, 2,400 bicycles available on a selfservice basis. In 2007, Lâ€™Equipe sports magazine named Toulouse the top sporting city in France. The more than 500 clubs tally some 85,000 members, and no less than 16 top-flight clubs make Toulouse proud on the national and European stage, most notably Stade Toulousain (rugby union), Toulouse Olympique (rugby league) and Toulouse Football Club (soccer).
Panoramic view of BagnÃ¨res-de-Bigorre (Picture: Alix BagnÃ¨res-de-Bigorre)
9 times stage host.
First time in 1952; winner: RaphaÃ«l Geminiani.
Most recently in 2003; start.
District capital for the Hautes-PyrÃ©nÃ©es dÃ©partement.
Elegant thermal spa, BagnÃ¨res welcomes you at the foot of the famous Tourmalet pass. Situated within the Pyrenees national park, the town enjoys exceptional natural surroundings perfectly suited for sports and outdoor activities the year around. The Tourmalet skiing domain (largest in the French Pyrenees, with the towering Pic du Midi de Bigorre overlooking its slopes), the Laurent Fignon center, the Bigorre golf course, the Gailleste equestrian center and the hiking trails of haute-Bigorre... all await your exploits, before some well-earned rest in the splendid Aquensis thermal spa where you can experience for yourself the beneficial and relaxing effects of the rich mineral water. With its typical thermal spa architecture, its varied and original cultural life (Beaux-arts museum, marble museum) and its quality services, BagnÃ¨res stands out as the most pleasant of cities to settle in or visit.
â€¢ Hautes-PyrÃ©nÃ©es Tourisme Environnement