Christian Prudhomme's comment
The great classic of the Pyrenees has been reconsidered for this 2016 edition of the Tour. After the Col du Tourmalet, the race will, for the first time, head up the Hourquette d'Ancizan from a different side before taking on the Col de Val-Louron-Azet and Peyresourde!
A battle with several levels where anything and everything can happen.
The city of Henry the 4th welcomed the race in style on sixty-seven occasions, which puts it on the podium behind Paris and Bordeaux of the event's most faithful cities. It is also since last summer, the city of the Giants of the Tour (Le Tour des Géants) with sculptures representing each winner of La Grande Boucle set in the Philippe Tissié stadium. On each figure is the name and the photo of the winner of the concerned year as well as a text written by author Christian Laborde.
Prefecture of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (64)
77,600 inhabitants (Palois), 145,300 inhabitants within the 14 communes comprising the Pau-Pyrénées municipality
Economy: Aerospace, geosciences, pharmaceutical and food processing industries, equestrian centre, university city, armed forces
Culture: Château de Pau, which is the birthplace of King Henry IV, and its national museum, 300 English-style villas (19th century), Saint-Louis theatre, Museum of Fine Arts, Museum Bernadotte, Museum of Aviation. Festivals: Les Idées mènent le Monde (literature), Carnival Biarnès (Pau's annual carnival with parades and entertainment), Hestiv Oc (culture and music), L'été à Pau (music), Un aller-retour dans le noir (crime literature), Un été au ciné (film)
Sport: Section Paloise (rugby, Top 14), Élan béarnais (basketball, Pro A), Pau-Pyrénées white-water stadium. Events: Grand Prix de Pau automobile (Formula 3 motor-racing), Les Étoiles de Pau (three-day eventing), World Canoe and Kayak Championships in 2017
Specialities: Garbure (meat and cabbage stew), poule au pot (chicken stew), foie gras, confit, magret and other dishes derived from duck and goose, coucougnettes du Vert Galant (almond, raspberry and chocolate sweets), honey, wine (Jurançon, Madiran, Pacherenc)
Sustainable development: Earned sustainable development ribbon in 2012, Idelis bus network, 25km of cycle paths and 101km of cycle lanes, free cable car, bike taxis, plan for a bus route with a high level of service, Gave Riverside Natural Park
Distinctions: City of art and history, child-friendly city, four-star floral city
In 1910, Luchon entered history by welcoming the finish and then the start of the first two mountain stages of the Tour de France, both claimed by Octave Lapize. For that reason, the city deserves the nickname of Queen of the Pyrenees. A hundred years later, a similar program was awaiting the riders of the Tour. Thomas Voeckler triumphed like in 2012. A candidate for a third success in 2014, the Frenchman was finally beaten to the line by Australian Michael Rogers.
County town in a canton of Haute-Garonne (31)
Tourist and mountain resort
2,800 inhabitants (Luchonnais)
Economy: Tourism, hydrotherapy (ENT, respiratory, rheumatology, fibromyalgia treatments), agro-pastoralism
Culture: Luchon-Superbagnères is the doyen of Pyrenean ski stations, casino, thermal baths, Edmond Rostand Villa, Luchon Regional Museum, Aviation Museum, French Hospice Museum, Museum of Cog-Driven Railways. Festivals: Festival des Créations Télévisuelles de Luchon (TV festival), flower festival, Fête de la Saint-Jean (classified as an event of Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO)
Sport: Ski club, cyclosportive La Lapébie, Luchon Aneto Trail (mountain walking). Activities: Skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, climbing, mountain biking, trail walking, skate park. Hosts top-level athletes (Stade toulousain, Sporting Club Albigeois, Spacer's Toulouse Volley, Fenix Toulouse handball)
Specialities: Pétéram (tripes), pistache (cassoulet), spit/tree cake, Dardenne chocolates, Luchon water, Oô organic trout, Pyrenean soap
Sustainable development: Shuttle buses to the spas and ski runs, cycle paths, energy generation from thermal water. Énergies citoyennes prize in 2012 for local energy initiatives
Distinctions: Grand Site Midi-Pyrénées, one of 25 in the region, European Association of Historic Thermal Towns, rated a three-star tourist resort, three-star floral town
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Sponsorship and Environment
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
A.S.O. is committed to integrating environmental considerations into the organisation of its races: Limiting CO2 emissions; A quality waste management policy for the spectators but also for the organisers and the riders; The promotion of cycling as an alternative, environmentally-friendly means of transport. Read more