A fair town back in the Middle Age, Arras welcomed thousands of merchants on its Grand-Place, listed as UNESCO World Heritage. Nowadays the most famous pop and rock artists, including Prince, Sting as well as Stromae, David Guetta and Pharrell Williams are celebrated there during the Main Square Festival. Arras appeared on the map of the Tour de France in 1991 for the start of a stage won in Le Havre by Thierry Marie after a solo effort of 234 kilometres.
25-time stage city
Chef-lieu de canton of Nord (59)
95 700 inhabitants
For a long time, the city was nicknamed the “French Manchester” due to its role as a stronghold in the world textile industry during the 19tthcentury. Roubaix has since then become the capital of planet cycling in Spring, but also during the month of July when the Tour visits the cobbled sectors of the Queen of classics. Under the rain like in 2014 with the victory of Lars Boom or in the dust that didn’t seem to bother Tony Martin in 2015, the magic of the cobbles also strikes in the middle of summer.