A strange situation
"On this kind of stage where there is no obvious difficulty, the likelihood is that Sagan, Cavendish or Greipel will be wearing the green jersey and wanting to consolidate their grip on it at the finish... However, I've done some sums and realised it is not out of the question that a man like Contador might spend several days in green! He will score points in Corsica, in the Pyrenees and in the time trial. On those occasions, the top sprinters, save for perhaps Sagan, will be right at the back. In other words, we could see quite a strange situation that could spice up the race. It would be like a race within a race, confirming the unexpected is always possible on the Tour."
The towns / A sporting view
A gallo-roman city and then capital of the Kingdom of France, today a town of Art and History, Tours, lapped by the Loire, has, for all time, been the preferred residence for characters of renown : from Saint-Martin to Honoré de Balzac via Louis XI, Pierre de Ronsard, François Villon, François Rabelais, Léonard de Vinci and René Descartes. The Loire has shaped the history, culture, landscapes and heritage of the regions through which it passes. To visit these slate and limestone towns, cycling enthusiasts can follow the length of the river using the Loire bike route, 600 kms of secure, mapped out bicycle routes. And, to try some vin de terroir, there is no better place to visit than Tours sur Loire, a popular and festive tavern, that for the whole of the summer takes residence on the banks of the Loire under the pont Wilson. Attached to its history but looking to the future, Tours is currently in an important period of change, with the notable arrival next September of the first 15km tramline that will redefine the urban landscape.
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.
Mountain passes & hillsNo mountain passes and hills referenced in this stage
In the heart of France, on the banks of the Berry canal, the Cher and the Marmande rivers, near to the Meillant and Tronçais forests, Saint-Amand-Montrond marries together its roots and its land with new technologies for a constantly changing quality of life. If its history has largely been linked to that of its fortress dating from the 13th century, the town is also famous for its ‘City of Gold'. This glass and steel pyramid is testament to the fact that for more than a century this was an area that specialised in jewellery and that today has 9 companies specialising in gold work as well as a professional school dedicated to jewellery. Furthermore, with two museums, a theatre, a cinema and an art and music school the artistic scene is of a very high quality whilst the architectural heritage is further embellished with nighttime lighting. Saint-Amand-Montrond is equally dynamic in the field of sport with almost 3,500 licences distributed in more than 30 associations that have specialist facilities at their disposal including an aqualudique centre.
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
Receive exclusive news about the Tour de France