Eure-et-Loir© P. Forget www.sagaphoto.com
A fashionable town, situated in the heart of the Beauce region and which has almost 3,000 inhabitants, Voves is pleased to host the start of Paris-Tours, this hundred-year-old race, of which the first edition took place, let us remember, in 1896. Cycling is a very demanding sport which requires a great deal of effort, a lot of training and moreover combines individual performance and team spirit. It is an extremely popular sport and brings together many enthusiasts and amateurs in an atmosphere which is both warm and festive. This is why the town of Voves put forward its candidacy to host Paris-Tours, the great classic of the autumn. For several weeks, a team of very enthusiastic and obviously delighted volunteers has been getting ready to provide the riders and their teams with a warm welcome and a great deal of entertainment, so that the start will be a major celebration of cycling. This is the wish of all the inhabitants of Voves.
In 2009, the department of Eure-et-Loir, situated half way between Paris and Tours, was very pleased to sign a partnership agreement with A.S.O. (Amaury Sport Organisation), allowing it to host the start of Paris-Tours for four years in a row. With almost 100, 000 people who are members of 1, 200 clubs, Eure-et-Loir is a department that is clearly focused on sport. The General Council is the leading backer of the sportsmen and women of Eure-et-Loire and takes part in the development of sport throughout the region, by contributing to the financing of new facilities and the training of sports leaders, by supporting clubs, encouraging high level performers and through its presence at major events such as Paris-Tours. Eure-et-Loir is therefore very pleased to host the start of the race for third time, which will thrill the many cycling enthusiasts who live there and is much to the delight of Voves, the stage town of this 105th edition of the race.
Gabare© The city of Tours
A very accessible city
Tours has always been a crossroads. It is situated at the centre of five motorways which form a star-shaped pattern, on a major European communication axis and boasts an international airport. It is surprisingly easy to reach at all times with a motorway exit two minutes from the city centre. The city centre can be reached in an hour on the TGV high-speed train from Paris, which also links Tours to big French and European cities with many direct daily links. The appeal of Tours and its urban community will be strengthened in 2013 with a tramway that will be put into service which will become one of the landmarks of the urban landscape.
Extensive scientific research
Although Tours is not renowned as being an industrial city, despite its glorious past in the automobile industry, it is known for its innovation and entrepreneurship, especially in high value-added sectors of activity closely linked to university and in particular medical research work. The city and its suburbs are part of three competitiveness clusters (Cosmetic Valley, Elastopole and the European Energy Efficiency Centre), demonstrating that this “philosophy” pays off and strengthening a situation that is the envy of many heavily industrialized towns.
A “well-being” city
Tours has remarkable architectural heritage and has been the scene of major historic events in every period. The city is not stuck in the past but on the move, belying its “sleeping beauty” reputation. Archaeologists say it was founded not under Augustus but Tiberius, a Roman emperor who loved good wine. Its Italian-style opera house, its early music groups, its conservatory which is renowned throughout the region, its national choreography centre, its drama centre, its contemporary art centre and jazz concert hall (the biggest one in France) are regularly to the fore because of the actions they develop, the artists they present in the city or by “exporting” the shows that are created here.
Tours loves sport …
A healthy mind in a healthy body… This old saying is particularly true of Tours, where team sports, especially volleyball in League A and football in League 2, often put the city in the sports spotlight.
But sport in Tours also means the simple pleasure of running along the banks of the River Loire or rowing, canoeing, sailing and windsurfing on one of the many lakes. Moreover, more than 600 hectares of parkland, woods and forests in the city centre or nearby allow people to enjoy their favourite outdoor activities, in particular at the lake’s brand new water park and on the new compact golf course in the centre of the urban area.
Every year 10, 000 people take part in the Tours and Nouvelle République 10 and 20-km race, proof, if any was needed, of the enthusiasm that Tours’ inhabitants have for sport. With 33, 000 members who belong to 160 clubs representing more than 120 disciplines, there really is something for everyone at all levels, which was proved by the “Sport’ouvertes” event, where all the sports clubs and associations presented their offer to the public in September.