- The race 2011
- All about the race
• Stage town for the first time
• 2,400 inhabitants
• Head of the canton of Gers (32)
Samatan is nicknamed the Mecca of foie gras and the capital of “pink gold”. But for Belgian cycling amateurs, there is another reason for going on a pilgrimage to Gers, and to Auch in particular. Indeed it was there in 1975 that Eddy Merckx won the 34th and last stage of his career on the Tour de France, a record which is still unequalled in the annals. For the time-trial, the five-time winner of the Tour was still wearing the Yellow Jersey, but struggled to hold off Bernard Thévenet, who had beaten him in the Dauphiné. A few days later, Merckx’s reign came to an end in the loops leading to the resort of Pra-Loup.
• Stage town on 64 previous occasions
• 87,000 inhabitants
• Prefecture of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (64)
In 1930 Alfredo Binda led the way for the winners in Pau. He won the first of his only two stages on the Tour there, although he was considered as being the greatest rider in the interwar period. Indeed, the rider from Lombardy, who almost acquired French nationality, only took part in the 1930 Tour and stayed away from the race for the rest of his career.
The winner of 41 stages of the Giro d’Italia, Binda won the Tour de France four times all the same, as the manager of the Italian team.