- The race 2011
- All about the race
The beach at Sauveterre© Béatrice Lehuédé
• Stage town for the first time
• 13, 600 inhabitants
• Commune of Vendée (85)
Olonne-sur-Mer, situated on the Atlantic’s Côte de Lumière, is the so-called ’green lung’ of the Pays des Olonnes and Vendéen coast. A seaside resort that attracts an increasing number of visitors, seduced by its natural and peaceful setting, Olonne-sur-Mer is at the heart of a protected nature area, boasting a variety of scenery: wild beaches stretching on for miles, 800 hectares of marshland once farmed for its salt and a forest made up of 1,000 hectares of every imaginable type of fauna and flora. And let’s not forget the 50 kilometres of charming bike, horse and walking trails. As many as 180 clubs and societies offer a wide range of entertainment and activities, but Olonne-sur-Mer also harbours a rich history: standing stones, or menhirs, the eighteenth century Pierre-Levée chateau, which survived the War in the Vendée, the Notre-Dame church, which dates back to 1000AD, and the Manoir de la Jarrie – a fortified manor house from the twelfth century.
The name of the initial town which will be hosting a stage of the 2011 Tour for the first time has a familiar ring to it for the race’s historians. In the 1920s, the neighbouring commune of les Sables-d’Olonne, which now belongs to the same Communauté de Communes (federation of municipalities), became a regular meeting place for the Tour. During the thirteen consecutives years when the peloton stopped there, four winners of the Tour dominated the race in les Sables -d’Olonne: Henri Pélissier, Philippe Thys, Nicolas Frantz and André Leducq.
The Redon marina: evidence of the town’s rich maritime history© Crédit CCPR.
• Stage town for the first time
• 10,400 inhabitants
• Sub-prefecture of Ille-et-Vilaine (35)
Central town in a region of 60,000 inhabitants, Redon sits on the borders of Brittany and the Loire. A veritable crossroads of waterways, the area has always benefited from the presence of so much water, and is a hub for water sports, such as sailing, canoeing, kayaking and rowing. It’s also known for its river fishing, hosting a number of international competitions, as well as being ideal for outdoor pursuits such as climbing, hiking and cycling. It’s no accident that next September the Pays de Redon is co-organising the first Outdoor Sports Festival with the Regional Olympic Committee!
Redon is also famous for its chestnuts, celebrated every autumn with the Foir Teillouse festival, when thousands of visitors come to enjoy the markets and festivities. Held at the same time, the Festival de la Bogue d’Or celebrates traditional music, singing and old tales.
Just two and a half hours from Paris and an hour away from Rennes, Vannes and Nantes by train, Redon is situated at an ideal railway hub, while combining the perfect balance of modernity and tradition.
The Tour arrives in Brittany. The peloton will stop in Redon, a town which is part of the region’s rich cycling heritage, for the first time. For more than fifty years, a race that is ranked as an Elite National Championship and is popular with the hopes of Brittany has taken place there in spring. Although Redon-Redon is often held on the same day as Paris-Roubaix, the town is also very near Pontchâteau, renowned for the events that it organises in the winter for the best cyclo-cross riders. French and even World Championships for this discipline have already been organised there.