- The race 2011
- All about the race
• Stage town on one previous occasion
• 8,500 inhabitants
• Head of the canton of Nord (59)
The riders will appear for the first time in France in Orchies, which submitted a joint candidacy with Tournai as a Euroregion, a unique happening on the Tour. But Orchies is also one of the rare towns that is a stage that does not have a winner! In 1982, only three teams had set off when the team time-trial was interrupted in Denain by strike action, as a protest against the closure of the Usinor Group. On the other hand, last year, the town may have witnessed the birth of a future great champion, with the victory of Germany’s Marcel Kittel in the 1st stage of the Four Days of Dunkirk.
• Stage town on 3 previous occasions
• 43,800 inhabitants
• Subprefecture of Pas-de-Calais (62)
Although the two last stages of the Tour which ended in Boulogne-sur-Mer were sprint finishes, with the victories of the Dutch Jean-Paul Van Poppel in 1994, and of the German Erik Zabel in 2001, the profile of the third stage is ideal for initiatives like those which allowed Pierrick Fédrigo and Sylvain Chavanel to obtain the French Champion’s jersey. In 2005, the air of the town greatly inspired Fédrigo, who also won the Four Days of Dunkirk’s pink leader jersey a few weeks earlier.