The fourth largest city in France is perfectly positioned for the starts of Pyrenees stages that were often exploited in fine manner by the best climbers. It was indeed the case in 1952 by Raphaël Géminiani who triumphed in Bagnères-de-Bigorre ; then in 1964 with the victory of Raymond Poulidor who, in Luchon, reappeared in the leading positions of the GC and kept hope alive in his title battle against Jacques Anquetil.
The thermal resort of the Pyrenees was the theatre of six Tour de France stage finishes. The one in 1963 would benefit Jacques Anquetil in his conquest of a fourth title. Fifty years later, Dan Martin flew to victory outsprinting rival Jakob Fuglsang who was the only to remain in the wheel of the Irishman on the descent to the town after reaching the summit of la Hourquette d’Ancizan. Martin added his first stage success to victories already conquered that year on the Volta a Catalunya and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
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