Never give up
"This is a long stage (218km) because we wanted to be able to reach Lyon in three days. The finish should suit the sprinters. But it will all depend on what ambitions everyone has now? The idea that Quick Step, Orica-GreenEdge and Lotto will shackle the whole peloton in order to set up Cavendish, Goss and Greipel can't be excluded, and this scenario will automatically suit the team that has the yellow jersey. I would prefer to see some attacks, some movement... Contrary to a perceived idea, the Sky riders do have weaknesses. At the Olympic Games, they exhausted themselves on the front of the peloton chasing behind everyone. That should make everyone else believe they should never give up. Last year's winners will not necessarily be this year's winners."
The towns / A sporting view
At the foot of its 11th century feudal castle, Fougères will seduce you. Situated on the edge of a 1700 hectare forest, is has a remarkable environment and combines the advantages of a modern town with a gentle way of life much appreciated by its residents. Near to Rennes and the coast, the third town in Ille-et-Vilaine has many treasures to discover. Labelled a Town of Art and History, it is home to the oldest Belfry in Brittany, many religious buildings, picturesque streets and sites marked by the passage of famous writers such as Chateaubriant, Hugo and Balzac. If the Castle and is beautiful surroundings are the pride of the region, Fougères is also anchored in the present notably with its economic plans like the recent set up of BioAgroPolis, a European research and innovation centre for food hygiene standards, nutrition and animal health. Finally cultural and sporting facilities make up a dynamic fabric of associations which enable the organisation of many events and shows.
Sub-prefecture of Ille-et-Vilaine (35)
Specialities: shoes, glass, ramaougerie (apple pastry).
Economy: shoes, food industry, furniture, mechanics, glass, electronics, computers and robotics.
Sport: AGL (football), Pays de Fougères Basket (N3), Badminton Club du pays de Fougères, Subaquatique Club Fougères (diving)
Celebrities: Juliette Drouet (Victor Hugo muse), Honoré de Balzac, Jean Guehenno (writers), Fabien Lemoine (football)
Festivals : les Flambées musicales (February), Jazz en Fougères (April), Medieval Festival (June), Festival Voix des Pays (July), Salon du pastel (August), Youth Book Fair (November)
Labels : ville d'art et d'histoire, ville fleurie (4), Cité d'Art de Bretagne.
Mountain passes & hillsNo mountain passes and hills referenced in this stage
At the heart of the Touraine, this superb green land where the castles of the Loire nestle has been known as ‘the garden of France' since the 15th century, Tours benefits from an exceptional location. It offers its visitors the charm of a city with a wealth of heritage harking back to its prestigious past. The Saint-Gatien Cathedral, the Palace of the Archbishops, the Charlemagne Tower and the medieval timbered houses from the Old Tours district count amongst the 500 listed buildings in the city. Tours is also part of the Loire Valley that stretches nearly 300kms along the river and that is listed in the UNESCO world heritage sites cultural landscapes section. A great place to live, Tours welcomes hundreds of thousands of tourists every year and many foreign students. Located near to the town centre, the Parc des Expositions which welcomes the 12th stage of the Tour de France is an important economic venue in the region, it organises roughly 130 events attracting more than 800,000 visitors.
Population: 137 000
Prefecture of Indre-et-Loire (37)
Specialities: Touraine wines, géline de Touraine, rillettes, andouillette au vouvray, nougat de Tours. Universities, industry, airbase, Cosmetic Valley.
Economy: tourism, hospital,
Sport: Tours volley-ball, Tours FC (football) Tours Joué basket, Paris-Tours, Enfants neptunes de Tours (swimming)
Celebrities: Saint Martin, Gregory of Tours, Francois Rabelais, Rene Descartes, Honore de Balzac.
Festivals: Désir Désirs (cinéma, May), Mauvais Genre (April), Tours métrages, Rayons frais (arts et la ville), Jazz en Touraine (September), A Tours de bulles (Comics).
Labels: Unesco World Heritage (Val de Loire), ville d'art et d'histoire, vielle fleurie (4), ville Internet.
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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