"Why isn't there a prologue? Quite simply because we wanted to take the fullest advantage of Corsica, the only region of France that has never previously welcomed the Tour de France. With that in mind, we've put together a first stage of 212km that runs through magnificent countryside: we will start off by heading to beautiful Bonifacio! There's little doubt we will also start with a win for a sprinter. This is a golden opportunity for the likes of Cavendish, for example, to claim the yellow jersey. I'll remind you that the previous road stage "openings", at Plumelec and Les Herbiers, finished on the top of hills, which favoured the puncheurs. Here, the advantage lies with the pure sprinters."
A sporting view
At the heart of the Island's Extrême-Sud micro-region, Porto-Vecchio, Corsica's third town, is bordered to the East by the Tyrrhenian Sea and to the West by the Ospedale massif. This privileged location between the sea and the mountains has made it the prime tourist destination on the ‘Isle of Beauty' and its population increases tenfold over the summer period. Between water sports and general sightseeing nearly 100,000 holiday makers come to enjoy the turquoise waters and the magnificent beaches of Palombaggia and Santa Giulia. To welcome them, Porto-Vecchio has an extensive range of accommodation and easy access thanks to its commercial port, its marina and the International Sud Corse Figari Airport situated nearby.
Also known as the ‘Salt Town' due to the salt production that made up a large part of the local economy. Over the last few years they have developed more town based projects destined to improve the quality of life of its inhabitants. For example, the Prunellu Sports Complex that has just been completed alongside other ventures such as the Cultural Centre and the Casa di Lume, the Corsican regional cinema complex.
Pop: 11,800 Chef lieu de canton of Corse-du-Sud
Specialities: sartinese (cheese), Corsican delicatessen, AOC wines, olive oil, figatelli (sausage).
Economy: tourism, sea freight.
Celebrities: Jean-Paul de Rocca Serra (politician), Yves Loubet (rally), Priscilla Gneto (judo), Claude Papi and Nicolas Penneteau (football)
Sport: Criterium international - Memorial Jean-Marc Saladini (bowls) – Historical Tour of Corsica.
Culture: Regional Film Centre Casa di Lume (unique in Corsica) - Classical and cultural music festival (February), Scen'E Sonniu (April), Semaine de la Critique Cannes at the Cinémathèque (May), Lire au soleil (June), Porto-Vecchio Music Festival (July), International Latin Dance Festival, annual fair (September)
Label: exemplary port
On the Tyrrhenian sea, facing the tuscan archipelago, Bastia, classed as a town of art and history, is a city with a merchant tradition. Situated between the ‘Serra di Pignu' mountain and the coast it has been developed from the North to the South, between the Cap Corse and La plaine de la Maran and symbolises economic dynamism. Its commerical port rates regionally amongst the best in terms of passenger and freight transport whilst its Poretta-Bastia airport holds the second spot. Italy is present throughout Bastia. The historic centre and the Old Port area are made up of a labyrinth of winding streets the lengths of which are lined with high and sober facades in the style of Genoa and the baroque cities of Liguria. To the North, in the extended part of the town that dates to the 19th century, the ambiance is more evocative of Tuscany. Large, rectangular streets, punctuated with facades of a neoclassical style, make up an airy and carefully thought out urban landscape. Bordered by the sea, the huge Saint-Nicolas square, one of the largest in Europe, is the heart of the town where Bastians love to stroll and meet in the cafe terraces.
Prefecture of Haute-Corse
Specialties: sardines with brocciu, baccala (cod), fiadone (dessert), Pietra (beer)
Economy: second French passengers port, tourism, administrations.
Celebrities: Cesar Campinchi (former minister), Emile Zucarelli (mayor, former minister), Cesar Vezzani (tenor), Jean Nicoli (Resistance hero), Angelo Rinaldi (writer), Joseph-Marie Farinole (military), Adil Rami (footballer), Henry Padovani (former Police guitarist)
Sport: SC Bastia (football)
Culture: Italian film festival (Feburary), E teatrale (March), Notte di a Memoria (July), Spanish and Latin-American Film Festival (October)
Labels: ville d'art et d'histoire, ville fleurie (2).
Jersey wearers after the stage 20
Corporate social responsibility
Since it was founded, Amaury Sport Organisation has been involved in various sponsorship and philanthropy activities. It is the generosity of sport that can be found in a certain number of initiatives aiming to invest in the workings of the disciplines themselves (sponsorship of the French Federation of Cycling), in a humanitarian and social framework, (Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque, Actions Dakar, Un Techo Para Mi Pais) or in the environmental sphere (Madre De Dios, selective sorting, etc.). Read more
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