- The race 2011
- All about the race
• Stage town on 1 previous occasion
• 10,365 inhabitants
• Subprefecture of Aude (11)
The town is very renowned for its “blanquette”. As far as cycling is concerned, the town will be hosting a start stage of the Tour de France for the second time in a row. Last year, the peloton travelled to Montpellier where Mark Cavendish notched up his fourth victory in the 2011 edition. Previously, in a stage of the 1976 Grand Prix du Midi Libre, Lucien Van Impe, the future winner of the Tour, finished first in Limoux, ahead of Bernard Hinault and Raymond Poulidor.
• Stage town on 3 previous occasions
• 10,350 inhabitants
• Prefecture of Ariège (09)
In 2008, when the stage finished in the prefecture town of Ariège, at the foot of the castle, Kurt-Asle Arvesen became the third Norwegian to have won a stage of the Tour, after narrowly outsprinting Switzerland’s Martin Elmiger and Italy’s Alessandro Ballan. Several years earlier, the 1984 Tour de l’Avenir was decided for the most part around Foix, initially with a breakaway into which Charly Mottet slipped. The next day, he won the stage which set off from Foix and finished in Saint-Gaudens, before he went into the lead of the general classification.