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Châteauneuf-en-Thymerais Tours 235.5 km Sunday 7 October
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Eure-et-Loir© A. Lombard

Châteauneuf-en-Thymerais, capital of the Thymerais region since the destruction of Thimert castle almost a thousand years ago, is a bustling county town bordering the regions of Île-de-France, Normandy, Perche and Beauce, which also serves as an important centre for handicrafts and industry. Châteauneuf enjoys a delightful setting in the heart of a vast national forest. The municipality, with its well-preserved rural feel, has seen the growth over the last fifty plus years of a remarkable sporting and cultural tradition, with a sports hall and association numbering over 1,300 members from throughout the county. It is thus entirely fitting and with great enthusiasm that Châteauneuf-en-Thymerais welcomes the start of the 2012 Paris-Tours in partnership with the Departmental Council of Eure-et-Loir. An extensive team of volunteers will join forces with local business to make these two days a veritable festival of splendid cycling.

Eure-et-Loir is delighted to welcome the start of the Paris-Tours for the fourth year in a row. As the principal sponsor of sporting activity in daily life, the Departmental Council supports clubs and promotes the practice of sport for all, through its financial assistance to individual municipalities and groups of municipalities, in order to develop sports facilities throughout the region. After the Tour de France and the 100% Eure-et-Loir time trials between Bonneval and Chartres on 21st July, Thymerais now moves to centre stage, with the latest race to pass through the departement. Ever-increasing numbers of enthusiasts will be revelling in the organised events from Saturday 6th October, entering fully into the festive spirit of cycling at the end of an exceptional year for the sport in Eure-et-Loir, with the "A nous le Tour" cycling event on 13th May, the Tour d’Eure-et-Loir Espoirs in June, the Tour de France in July and the Paris-Tours in October! The département is proud to partner these events.



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.