The first 80km of the ninth stage reminded everyone that although Sky is strong, it is fallible. In his first hours of racing in the yellow jersey, Chris Froome found himself under attack from the Movistar and Saxo-Tinkoff teams who relished the fact that the race leader was isolated without help from his right-hand man, Richie Porte. Generally the action from the general classification candidates comes at the end of a mountain stage but today it happened right from the start. Garmin-Sharp was one of the main early aggressors but Movistar jumped on the fact Froome found himself all on his...Read more Key moments
The stage in videos
- Image of the day
- Beauty shot
- Analysis of the stage
- The towns 2013 : visit Bagnères-de-Bigorre
- The towns 2013 : visit Saint-Girons
A sporting view
Nestled at the foot of the Ariege Pyrenees, in the shadow of the Gallo-Roman ramparts of the ancient episcopal city of Saint-Lizier, the capital of Couserans stretches its picturesque streets on either side of two torrents of water that hurtle down from the highest mountains, the Salat and the Lez, and meet in the centre of the city. Its fairs and markets, which fill the streets several times a month with its local mountain population, are particularly lively and eclectic and always attract surprise and admiration from tourists. Saint-Girons, which is home to the main commercial sector in Couserans also has a number of small and medium businesses: artisanal beer producers, coffee roasting plants, paper mills, cheese producers, santonniers, glassmakers, construction companies ... The warmth and sense of hospitality of its people, its excellent climate and strategic location as well as being the capital of Couserans enable it to assert its tourist credentials. The proximity of the Pyrenees and its summits like the Mont Valier and Le Pic du Crabère attract mountain sport and nature lovers.
Sub-prefecture of Ariege (09)
Specialities: confits, garbure (soup), cheese (bethmale, moulis)
Economy: paper, tourism
Sport: St Girons RC (rugby union)
Celebrities: Roger Fauroux (former mayor and minister), Patrice Bonnet (architect)
Culture: Foire-Exposition de l'Ariege et du Couserans, Theatre Festival.
Labels: ville ambassadrice du Telethon 2008.
At the heart of the Adour valley, at the foot of the Pic du Midi and the Aspin and Tourmalet cols, Bagnères-de-Bigorre is the number one thermal resort in the High Pyrenees. The benefits of its waters were already recognised in Roman times and today it welcomes about 8,000 people for hydrotherapy treatment. Its ‘Grands Thermes' offer treatments notably for rheumatology and respiratory problems. But hydrotherapy is not Bagnères' only asset, with the support of the community of Haute-Bigorre communes, it also demonstrates industrial know-how and is home to many specialized small and medium sized business in aeronautics and electrical and mechanical engineering. The Grand Tourmalet also lies on part of its territory, the largest ski area in the French Pyrenees with more than one hundred kilometres of pistes. Finally, throughout the year, Bagnères-de-Bigorre holds many cultural and sporting events including the Piano Pic and À Voix Haute festivals , the Street Arts Weekend, the salon du Livre pyrénéen and international tennis tournaments.
Sub-prefecture of Hautes-Pyrenees (65)
Specialities: noir de Bigorre (pork), wine, garbure (soup), onion, Madiran wine.
Economy: spa, tourism, small mechanical and electric industries, agriculture.
Sport: Stade Bagnerais (rugby union), Amicale laïque (canoeing)
Celebrities: Pierre-Georges Latecoere (airman), Jean Gachassin (rugby, tennis), Laurent Fignon (cycling), Jean-Michel Aguirre, Roland Bertranne (rugby), Wilfried Forgues and Franck Adisson (canoeing Olympic champions in 1996), Adiren Theaux (ski).
Festivals : « piano Pic » classical music festival (July), voice festival “A Voix Haute” (August), Pyrenean Book Fair (October)
Labels: ville fleurie (3), Pic du Midi regional “Grand Site” Midi-Pyrenees
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Will Chris Froome lose some of the advantage he holds over his GC rivals in stage 14?