On the road
Province Of West Flanders
Population: 1,169,990 (2012)
Arrondissements: Bruges (Brugge), Courtrai (Kortrijk), Dixmude, Furnes, Ostende, Roulers (Roeselaere), Tielt, Ypres (Ieper)
Surface: 3,144 km2
Largest town: Bruges (Pop: 117,000)
Economy: food industry, technical textile, mechanical electronics, technology of image, plastic material, industrial design. Agriculture.
Specialties: mussels, speculoos, shrimps, nœuds de Bruges (Brugse achtjes), Bruges lace, babeluttes.
Tourism: belfries and grand places of Bruges, Courtrai, Dixmude, seaside tourism (Ostende, De Panne), WWI sites (Ypres), village of Damme.
Population: 1,323,196 (2012)
Chef-lieu: Mons (Bergen)
Districts: Ath, Charleroi, Mons, Mouscron, Soignies, Thuin, Tournai
Surface: 3 786 km2
Largest town: Charleroi (Pop: 205,000)
Economy: cool, chemicals, steel works, glassware, mechanical industry.
Specialities: rabbit with prunes and beer, Escaveche of Virelles, doubles of Binche, cheese oatcake, pork paunch, peket (spirit)
Tourism: belfry in Mons (Bergen), Tournai (belfry, grand place and cathedral), rampart of Binche, castle of Chimay.
Population: 2,576,770 (2010)
Sub-prefectures: Avesnes-sur-Helpe, Cambrai, Douai, Dunkirk, Valenciennes
Surface: 5 743 km2
Largest town: Lille (pop: 227,000)
Economy: mines, textile, metallurgy, sale, department stores, tourism, administration.
Specialties: beer (Jeanlain, Trois-Monts, Pelican), cheese (Maroilles, Vieux Lille, boulette d'Avesnes), chicory, chicons, bêtises de Cambrai (sweets).
Tourism: belfries, mining heritage, grande braderie in Lille, carnivals.
Km 24 : Roeselare
At the Franco-Belgian border, Roeselaere (Roulers in French) is a small town of 60,000 worth a visit for its superb Wielermuseum (WieMu), displaying several objects from the Tour, and the elegant nearby Renaissance castle of Rumbeke. It is the hometown of Patrick Sercu and of the late Jean-Pierre Monsere, the 1970 world champion.
Jersey wearers after the stage 9
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Will the three stages in the Vosges determine the overall winner?
- Yes, they’ll confirm Nibali’s domination9.61%
- No, the real fight will happen in the Alps47.68%
- No, Contador will win the Tour in the Pyrenees30.74%
- No, Porte will beat them all in the time trial11.97%