Sunday March 3rd, 2013

PrologueHouilles / Houilles

Start 13h45 GMT 2+

Gaudin puts France back in the prologue game

Damien Gaudin put France back on the time-trial map when he became the first home rider since Laurent Brochard 13 years ago to win the Paris-Nice prologue on Saturday. The three-times French pursuit champion made the best of his track skills to upset the favorites and snatch his first pro victory in three minutes and 37  seconds on the winding 2.9-kms course in the streets of Houilles. The Europcar rider left French time-trial champion Sylvain Chavanel trailing in second place, one second behind, just ahead of last year's runner-up in Nice, Dutchman Lieuwe Westra. Another talented...

Read more Key moments

The stage in pictures

photo03/03/2013 

 

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Tourist attractions

Houilles

Houilles marks the beginning of the department of Yvelines and is one of its major towns.  Located 12km from Paris, with 31,900 inhabitants, the town offers a pleasant living environment where detached houses stand alongside beautiful residences and buildings. Houilles lives with its time whilst preserving an almost provincial appeal and tranquillity.  Everything contributes towards the well-being of the locals of all ages:  a youth centre, redevelopment of the area around the church, a cultural centre, a new conservatory with a daring architectural design, nurseries, spacious infant and primary schools, retirement homes, a completely-redesigned station and outskirts which have been secured and enhanced.

The first historical mention of the name Houilles appears in the legal documentation for Notre-Dame de Paris, before the 13th century.  The arrival of the railway in 1841 was a decisive factor in the development of this rural village, part of the Montesson loop. With a connection to Paris, Houilles was then subject to the influence of the capital and began its slow transformation from village to suburbia. Its history is also intimately linked to that of a famous inhabitant: Victor Schoelcher (1804-1893), who drafted the decree for the abolition of slavery. This great republican chose Houilles as his country abode and the town acquired the house where he lived until his death. It was opened to the public for the first time last September, for the European Heritage Days.  Another distinctive aspect of the town is the French navy's Commandant-Millé centre. The community-based associations here are particularly active and organise several events throughout the year, such as La Corrida, a renowned international footrace, and the street market, topped only by the one in Lille. Houilles, in Yvelines, is a very pleasant town just a stone's throw from Paris!

Web sites

La Maison Schœlcher - © Ville de Houilles
 

Jersey wearers after the stage 7

Classifications after the stage 7

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