Luis Leon Sanchez knows how to attack, how to climb and how to descend. He is one of the most aggressive men in the peloton and even though he was plagued with injuries sustained in a crash in stage one, he insisted on staying in the race even though he only has three team-mates along for support. Never mind if logic dictates that he should limp through to Paris: he wanted to give Rabobank a reward for what has been a Tour plagued with problems. He would ultimately win his fourth stage of the Tour de France but the 14th stage of the 2012 race will be remembered for the sabotage that...Read more Key moments
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After being developed around its church, the city rapidly developed thanks to its linen and leather industry. Today, Limoux is renowned for its blanquette (sparkling wine), its Toques et Clochers Festival, its carnival, its museums and its gastronomy.
- la blanquette - it is the oldest sparkling wine in the world. Discovered in 1531 its method of wine production was subsequently applied to champagne by Dom Perignon. It makes up the main economy of the town and of the region. You can also include the Anne de Joyeuse cave that produces quality AOC wines.
- Toques et Clochers - this wine auction held in Spring takes place with the aim of raising money for the restauration of the ancient belltowers (clochers). It is followed by a meal prepared by a top chef (Toque).
- the carnival - every winter it lasts nearly three months. It is the longest carnival in the world. Festivities begin 12 weeks before the religious festival of Palm Sunday.
- the museums - the Petiet Museum is dedicated to paintings, there are also museums celebrating the piano, automata, printing and plants at La Bouichère.- gastronomy - little pebradous biscuits, salted liver artichokes, Limouxine duck, fricassée, pescalhos (pancakes),...
Subprefecture of l’Aude (11)
Population: 10,365 (Limouxins, Limouxines)Economy : viticulture, tourism.
Specialties : pebradou (aperitive cake), artichokes with salted liver, Duck a la Limouxine (saffron sauce and garlic), Limos (stuffed bun), tap (chocolate), white wines (Blanquette de Limoux, Cremant de Limoux).
Celebrities : Dom Perignon, Aude Bourrel known as Jacoba (the last Cathar), Philippe Fabre d’Eglantine (8th century poet and politician), Marie Petiet (painter), Jules Vedrines (airman), Henri Duclos (writer).
Sport : XIII Limousin.
Festival : Limoux carnival (ten weeks with a Tour de France them this year), Toques et Clochers (April), Cuivrée spéciale (brass festival),Festival de Radio France et Montpellier Languedoc (July), Festival NAVA (Nouveaux Auteurs en Vallée d’Aude, theatre), Nuit de la Fricassée (August), Fête de la Grand’Ville (September), Foire au Gras (November).
Right in the heart of the Ariège, at the foot of the Pyrenees, Foix, symbolised by its three towers of its Château Comtal, combines the quality of life of an average town with the advantages of its immediate proximity to a great metropolis, Toulouse, but also with the Pyrenees, Spain and Andorra. Undoubtedly the emblematic monument of the city, the Castle (10th - 15th centuries) stands majestically on its rock and was home to the Counts of Foix, including the brilliant Gaston Febus (1343-1391). A Tour stage town and popular with tourists, Foix combines the authenticity of its ancient medieval centre with the diversity of its businesses and the quality of its beautiful natural environment. This unspoiled environment is perfect for so many sporting activities and outdoor leisure pursuits: cycling and mountainbiking, walking or horseriding, rafting in calm or choppy waters or even paragliding down the valley. Foix is in a privileged spot for discovering the treasures of the Ariege department: middle age castles, Cathar citadels, roman abbeys, prehistoric caves.. or quite simply sublime natural locations.
Prefecture of Ariege (09)Economy : tourism, civil services, tyres (Continental)
Specialties : dry sausage, croustade du Cousterans (pie), mounjetado (bean stew), potée ariégeoise (cabbage stew).
Sport : canoeing (under-21 world championships), US Foix (rugby union).
Celebrities : Simon de Montfort, Gaston Phoebus, King Henry IV, Christian d’Orgeix (painter), Eric Carriere (football).
Jersey wearers after the stage 9
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