Stage cities

Noirmoutier-en-l’Île

1-time stage city
Common of Vendée (85)
4 600 inhabitants

www.ville-noirmoutier.fr

The fans of cinema in the seventies often head to Noirmoutier to discover the scenery of where the film César et Rosalie starring Yves Montand and Romy Schneider was shot, while vacationers invest in a pot of salt flower after visiting the salt marshes. All keep in memory their discovery of the Passage du Gois, one of the rare roads in the world, entirely covered by the sea when the tide is high. The peloton of the Tour had gathered there for the start of the 2011 edition before  Philippe Gilbert conquered his only stage win at the top of the Mont des Alouettes.

Fontenay-le-Comte

Stage city for the first time
Sous-préfecture of Vendée (85)
13 500 inhabitants

www.ville-fontenaylecomte.fr

Once the main city of the “département” of Vendée, it was then called Fontenay-le-Peuple, before being renamed when Napoléon the 1st preferred La Roche-sur-Yon as the area’s prefecture back in 1804. Later, the common gained in notoriety for the cycling fans who probably still remember Jacky Durand winning his second consecutive French national title in 1994. It was with his red, white and blue jersey conquered in Vendée that the rider from Mayenne then went on to win his first success on the Tour, in Cahors several days later.

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