- The race 2011
- All about the race
• Stage town on 29 previous occasions
• 51,500 inhabitants
• Head of the Territoire de Belfort (90)
The renowned Lion of Belfort, sculpted by Bartholdi, has seen many champions pass by in the long history of the city, which was the next stage after Metz on the Tour’s route in 1907. A very regular stage of the Tour in the years before the war, the city has often served more often as a stage start than a finish, although Marc Demeyer, the official trailblazer of Freddy Maertens, seized the opportunity in turn to excel there, in 1978. The next day, Bernard Hinault, won the time-trial which allowed him to oust Zoetemelk from the top of the general classification and to wear the Yellow Jersey on the Tour de France for the first time.
• Stage town for the first time
• 6,700 inhabitants
• Cantonal commune of Jura (Switzerland)
The Franco-Swiss stages sometimes carry a lot of weight in the race’s scenario when the Tour goes there. This was the case for example, in 2009 in Verbier, when Alberto Contador dealt a decisive blow to his rivals; or going back a bit further to Crans-Montana, the resort where Laurent Fignon maintained his advantage over Bernard Hinault in 1984. As it so happened, several weeks earlier, the title holder had won a stage in Porrentruy, where the Tour de Romandie goes regularly. More recently a prologue won by Italy’s Marco Pinotti was organised there in 2010, whereas the finish of the last straight stage in 2006 favoured America’s Chris Horner.