A bit more rolling
"This is the third of the so-called "transition" stages, even though the route for this one is a bit more rolling: we are approaching the Pyrenees, the major objective at the end of the week. In theory, there is an opportunity here for the sprinters in a Tour that quite frankly doesn't do them a lot of favours? In fact, it is quite possible the battle for the green jersey might already have been decided. Imagine, for example, Sagan has taken two victories in Corsica, leaving him well ahead of Kittel, Cavendish, Goss, Greipel? How will his rivals catch up with him? Once again, this underlines the importance of the initial days of the race. Any time or points dropped there could be regretted to the very end!"
A sporting view
Young and dynamic, Montpellier is also one of the sportiest towns in France and has many clubs playing at the highest national level, with success for MHSC, Montpellier Hérault Sport Club, French football champions in 2012 with the Montepellier Waterpolo team and MAHB, Montpellier Agglomération Handball also winning national titles. There were also excellent results for its rugby and women's basketball teams. In total, there are roughly 500 sports associations registered in the city whilst the ‘Sport for all ‘ programme enables everyone, from children to OAPs to take part in the activity of their choice with coaching and assistance provided. Montpellier hosts other events that add to its appeal. The Tour de France, which will once again hold one of its stages in the Languedoc capital is the best example. Added to that is the South of France Open Tennis or the FISE, International Festival of Extreme Sports, the biggest freestyle sports competition in Europe.
Prefecture of Herault (34)
Specialties: Coteaux du Languedoc wines (Pic Saint-Loup, St Chinian, Faugères), grisettes (sweets), Montpellier butter (flavoured with herbs and anchovy)
Economy: Universities, research, new technologies.
Sports clubs: Montpellier Handball, Montpellier Herault Sport Club (football, L1), Montpellier Hérault rugby club (Top 14).
Celebrities: Rabelais, Andre Gide, Paul Valery, Jean-Antoine Chaptal,.
Jean-Jacques de Cambaceres (18th century lawyer and politician), Auguste Comte (philosopher), Juliette Greco (singer), Michel Galabru (actor), Stephane Goubert (cyclist).
Festivals: Comedie du livre (bookfair), Dance festival, Festival Quartiers libres. Printemps des comediens (June), Brass band festival (June), Electromind (July), Festival Mediterranean Cinema (October)
Historic and Cultural town whose episcopal city was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site but that was also elected as the 2012 most sporting town in France by L'Equipe, Albi shows that it is constantly changing and that it knows how to combine heritage, modernity, research and innovation. Every year it attracts more than 800,000 tourists that come to visit the Sainte-Cécile Cathedral, the largest brick built religious building in the world, a veritable masterpiece of southern French gothic style, as well as the Palais de la Berbie that is home to the Museum Toulouse-Lautrec and its superb collection of paintings and posters by the painter who was born in Albi. There is a continued burst of dynamism with the opening of the Grand théâtre des Cordeliers in 2014, a project designed by the architect Dominique Perrault. This facility for contemporary architecture, the only one in the region, will place the arts at the centre of the cultural district at the heart of a town that has become the gateway for tourists to the episcopal city. Albi cultivates the quality of life of its residents, its appeal and has more than ever before a recognised global identity.
Population: 51, 200
Prefecture of Tarn (81)
Specialities: pot au feu à l'albigeoise (stew), melsat (white pudding), repountsous (plant), croustade, gimblette d'Albi (pastry). Gaillac wines.
Economy: glassware, hats, pharmacy, aeronautics.
Sport: SC Albigeois (rugby). Albi Rugby League. USSP Albi Volley-ball. US Albi (football). Décanation (decathlon).
Celebrities: Toulouse-Lautrec (painter), La Pérouse (explorer), Pierre Benoît (writer).
Culture: Albi carnival (February). Festival des Oeillades (December). Winter Rock Festival. Festival Pause Guitare, Acthéa (May)
Labels: UNESCO World Heritage. Most sporting city in France 2012, ville fleurie (4)
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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