Wednesday July 18th, 2012

Stage 16Pau / Bagnères-de-Luchon

Start 11h20 GMT 2+

Voeckler: the prince becomes King of the Climbs

Thomas Voeckler began his making a name for himself at the Tour de France during the reign of Richard Virenque who raced with one thing in mind in the twilight years of his career, winning the polka-dot jersey. Back in 2004, Voeckler was the French champion but he would become a leader of the Tour with a long stint in the yellow jersey. Eight years later he is still making a name for himself. He likes to put on a show. He likes to attack. He likes to chase points. He likes to win! He did all those things in an epic stage in the Pyrenees in which he beat everyone in the field to claim a...

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Tourist attractions


In November 2011 Pau was given the title of Town of Art and History, which means it joins a national network of currently more than 170 towns on mainland France and Corsica with the same title. This prestigious honour recognises the efforts of the municipality in protecting the heritage of the city and developing its town projects. This approach of study, conservation, development and support towards architectural quality and to the quality of life has been on the go since 2009. The label Town of Art and History gives more coherance and legibility to cultural policy, to development and gives a sense of heritage to the people of Pau, whilst also reinforcing links between the residents and their town. The label is a dynamic expression of this renewed cultural policy and heritage. It is a real tool for the tourist industry and shines a light on the area, whether for Pau Porte des Pyrénées or for the surrounding towns with common themes such as holiday resorts, pyreneeism tourism or even the bearnaise identity.

Horizons Palois - photo DG - OT Pau-Pyrenees
64 previous stages
Population: 87,000
Prefecture of Pyrenees Atlantiques (64)

Specialities : béarnaise sauce, garbure (soup), poule au pot, jurançon and Bearn wines, jams and honey.
Economy : services, oil refinery, petrochemicals, food products, mechanics, new technologies. Tourism.
Motto : Urbis palladium et gentis.
Sport : Elan Bearnais Pau-Orthez (basketball), Section paloise (rugby union), Pau FC (football), canoe kayak national centre, first golf in France built by the English.
Celebrities : King Henry IV, Porthos (musketeer), Jean-Baptiste Jules Bernadotte, Abd el-Kader, Saint-John Perse, Tony Estanguet (canoeist), Christian Laborde, Stephane Auge, Nicolas and Julien Escude.
Events : Summer in Pau, Bulles d’Afrique, de la Caraïbe, Hestiv’Oc, Les Zébulitions, Mosaïka.


Known since 1834 as "the Queen of the Pyrenees" by Vincent de Chausenque in his work Les Pyrénées ou voyages pédestres (The Pyrenees on foot), Bagneres de Luchon, which is the most characteristic mountain town in the Pyrenees, offers the perfect setting for mountain and outdoor activities but also for relaxation and fun for all. Thanks to its natural environment it makes it possible to practise many sporting activities throughout the summer and winter: hiking, mountain biking, trout fishing while canyoning, rafting and paragliding await all thrill seekers. Linked to the Superbagnères resort in eight minutes by cable car, Bagnères de Luchon does not however, rely soley on its strengths in the field of sport. In cultural terms, it offers throughout the year about six hundred events including two flagship events, the International TV Film Festival and the Flower Festival. The finishing line of the 16th stage will be located near to the Villa Julia where French writer Edmond Rostand spent twenty-two summers of his youth and wrote Les Musardies.

Luchon - Superbagnères - © OT LUCHON Flower Festival - © Jean-Michel EMPORTES
51 previous stages
Population: 2,700
Haute-Garonne department

Specialities : water, specialities from the Pyrenees.
Economy : hydrotherapy, tourism.
Celebrities : Edmond Rostand, Guy and Roger Lapebie (cyclists), Britt and Ingrid Lafforgue (skiers), Lys Gauty (singer).
Events : flower festival, festival of audiovisual creation.

Jersey wearers after the stage 20

Classifications after the stage 20


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