Four years after triumphing in the Under 23 class, Jelle Wallays captured the big one, claiming Paris Tours in fine fashion. Part of a seven-man breakaway group, the Belgian was with Thomas Voeckler, the last to stay clear of the pack. He then went on to show that youth could pay off against the experience of his French rival. Already a winner of stage 1 of the 2013 World Ports Classic, Wallays captures the most prestigious victory of his career.
The race in pictures
Paris-Tours 2014 - 12/10/2014 - Les élus de Bonneval donnent le départ de la course © ASO/B.Bade
Between the cathedral and the châteaux, Bonneval offers its medieval charm to visitors in the lush green setting of the valleys of the River Loir and the River Ozanne. Situated in a calm setting, Bonneval is a paradise for fishermen and bicycle tourists, and is working on modernising itself while preserving its heritage. This green holiday resort offers many relaxing activities such as hiking, trekking, cycling, tennis, and canoeing and exploring the fortifications of the town in electric boats. The up-and-coming riders of world cycling have been setting off from our town for the start of Paris-Tours, the Classic race, for the past twenty years. So Bonneval is delighted to play host to the start the 2014 edition of Paris-Tours Elite in association with the General Council of Eure et Loir. Many of the riders competing are already familiar with the “Little Venice of the Beauce” as they have set off on a stage of the Tour de France or Paris-Tours Espoirs from there.
Even though the 14th “Tour d'Eure-et-Loir Espoirs” will be setting off from Châtillon-en-Dunois, the whole department will be involved in celebrating cycling once again. Indeed Eure-et-Loir is delighted to play host to the start of Paris-Tours for the sixth year in a row.
Following in the footsteps of Chartres, La Loupe, Voves, Châteauneuf-en-Thymerais and Authon-du-Perche, the 108th edition of Paris-Tours in Bonneval is an event not to be missed!
The ever-increasing public will be able to take full advantage of the activities organised highlighting this cycling event's very festive spirit. With almost 100, 000 people who are members of its many clubs, Eure-et-Loir is a department that is focused on sport with facilities spread throughout the region, countless volunteers and a major partner: the General Council. Eure-et-Loir: a land of cycling and sport which is also home to many champions.
A very accessible city
Tours has always been a crossroads. It lies at the hub of five motorways, straddles a major European communication axis, boasts an international airport and is surprisingly easy to reach at all times with a motorway exit two minutes from the city centre. The city centre can be reached in an hour on the TGV high-speed train from Paris, which also links Tours to major French and European cities with many direct daily links.
Extensive scientific research
Although Tours is not renowned as being an industrial city, despite its glorious past in the automobile industry, it is known for its innovation and entrepreneurship, especially in high value-added sectors of activity closely linked to university and in particular medical research work. The city and its suburbs are part of three competitiveness clusters (Cosmetic Valley, Elastopole and the European Energy Efficiency Centre), demonstrating that this “philosophy” pays off and strengthening a situation that is the envy of many heavily industrialized towns.
A “well-being” city
The city of Tours and the province of Touraine in the Loire Valley, known as the “Garden of France”, make up one of the emblematic territories recognised by UNESCO in 2000 as a “living cultural landscape”. The area owes much of its beauty to a long tradition of royal and aristocratic residences along the “river of cultural landscapes”, largely created over the course of two hundred years in the 15th and 16th centuries. It was in this land of sophistication, abundance and regal banquets that Tours was awarded the title of International City of Gastronomy. With its remarkable architectural heritage, Tours is the gateway to the Loire Valley.
Tours loves sport …
A healthy mind in a healthy body… This old saying is particularly true of Tours, where team sports, especially volleyball in League A and football in League 2, often put the city in the sports spotlight. But sport in Tours also means the simple pleasure of running and cycling along the banks of the River Loire or rowing, canoeing, sailing and windsurfing on one of the many lakes. Moreover, more than 600 hectares of parkland, woods and forests in the city centre or nearby allow people to enjoy their favourite outdoor activities, in particular at the lake's water park and on the new compact golf course in the centre of the urban area. Every year 10, 000 people take part in the Tours 10 and 20-km race, and this year in the first “Touraine Loire Valley” marathon, which are both organised by the Nouvelle République, proof, if any was needed, of the enthusiasm that Tours inhabitants have for sport. With
33, 000 members who belong to 160 clubs representing more than 120 disciplines, there really is something for everyone at all levels, which was proved by the “Sport'ouvertes” event, where all the sports clubs and associations presented their offer to the public in September.
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