The 168-km third stage of Paris-Nice between Cusset and Mont Brouilly was cancelled on Wednesday after snow forced organisers to halt the race at kilometer 97. Five riders - Alexis Gougeard (AG2R), Alexy Lutsenko (Astana), Laurent Didier (Trek Segafredo), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) and Jesus Herrada (Movistar) - were leading the main pack by 3:30 when the race direction and the race jury decided to call it a day. The race was in the third climb of the day, Col des Echarmeaux, when...
Paris-Nice takes a little bit of altitude in today's third stage to Mont Brouilly, a 3-km 7.7 pc climb on hillsides better known for the 13 pc percentage of alcohol in their world famous Beaujolais wines. Surprisingly strong in Sunday's prologue, impressively solid in his defence of his yellow jersey in Monday's tricky finale, winner again in swashbuckling fashion in Tuesday's bunch sprint in Commentry, Michael Matthews could again be the man to watch in a 168-km third stage that could...
The stage in videos
- Onboard - Stage 3 - Paris-Nice 2016
- Summary - Stage 3 (Cusset / Mont Brouilly)...
The stage in pictures
Paris-Nice 2016 - 09/03/2016 - Etape 3 - Cusset - Mont Brouilly (168 Km) - Les coureurs sont autorisés à monter dans les voitures d'équipe © ASO/G.Demouveaux
Located in the foothills of the Montagne Bourbonnaise region, the town of Cusset is part of the urban area of Vichy. With 14,000 inhabitants, it is the fourth largest town in the department of Allier and the second town, after Vichy itself, in the area. Its 15th century underground passages are remnants of the town defences financed by Louis XI, whilst its tower dungeon, with a circumference of 82 metres, recalls Cusset's past as a fortified town. Every year, around the end of May, its historic centre returns to the colours and mood of the Middle Ages for Les Flamboyantes, a series of medieval and fantastic celebrations. Cusset is a lively town, thanks in part to its many sports clubs. With some 5,000 sportsmen and women and over 40 clubs to its name, the town of Cusset is a breeding ground for high-level athletes such as the gymnast Marie Deloge and cross-country skier Clémence Calvin. Named the “most sporting town in the Massif Centralˮ, Cusset and its inhabitants are used to playing host to major sporting events, such as Paris-Nice and the Tour de l'Avenir in 2010 as well as the 19th stage of the Tour de France in 2008.
Situated halfway along the Paris-Nice route, Beaujolais regularly provides an ideal terrain for cyclists in the Race to the Sun, with routes through the Beaujolais vineyards overlooking the Saône valley, stretching in rows from one village to the next. Dominating this landscape is Mont Brouilly and its 300 hectares of vineyards. One of the longest-running centres for viticulture in Beaujolais, it is a rounded volcanic hill of medium altitude (484 metres).
Manuscripts dating as far back as the 16th century mention a hill bearing “the most excellent old wine in the land”. As well as being a site of spiritual, cultural, athletic and environmental tradition, Mont Brouilly is a summit to reach, a quest to complete. The vineyards of nearby Saint-Lager have become renowned thanks to the Brouilly and Côte de Brouilly vintages. Footpaths lead up to the Notre-Dame-des-Raisins chapel, which crowns the hill and offers an extraordinary panorama. Every year on 8th September, there is a pilgrimage to the chapel, which was built between 1854 and 1857 to protect against the hail, frost and mildew that had ravaged the vines. Saint-Lager is also one of the few French villages alongside Bordeaux, Dijon, Beaune and Mâcon, that is part of the very select circle of “International Vineyard and Wine Cities”.
Jersey wearers after the stage 7
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