Yves Auvinet, President of the Conseil départemental of Vendée

"Navigating between earth and sea, the double heart of Vendée beats as one at the rhythm of great events. And the Tour de France, third largest sporting media event in the world, is one of them. It allows Vendée to travel beyond its frontiers as much as the Vendée Globe sailing race does so beyond the seas..."

Bruno Retailleau, President of the Conseil régional des Pays de la Loire from December 2015 to September 2017

"For the tenth time of its history, la Grande Boucle will, next summer, take off on the roads of the region. The region is delighted and proud to welcome in 2018 no less than four stages of this legendary event with its international influence."

Vendée

On the Atlantic Ocean, between earth and sea, Vendée makes the best of the diversity of its landscapes. Symbol of quality of life, the “département” is a land of excellency. Economical excellency thanks to its numerous dynamic companies that show the richness and resources of the men and women who work in them. Sporting excellency with its great events starting with the Vendée Globe sailing race that shows the taste of effort and audacity  characterized by the people of Vendée. Cycling excellency, especially in this territory known for its capacity to notice talents and train the next generation (Vendée U, the Direct Energie team of Jean-René Bernaudeau). A nice example of the cycling values embodied by the entire département!

  • VENDÉE

Area: 6 720 km² divided between the Bocage vendéen, the largest part of the « département », the Marais breton, north west and the Plaine vendéenne, east.
250 kilometres of coastline on the Atlantic coast, including 140 kilometres of beaches
660 000 inhabitants (Vendéens)
Prefecture: La Roche-sur-Yon (53 000 inhabitants)

www.vendee.fr


Pays de la Loire

Like Vendée, the entire region of Pays de la Loire will offer the face of dynamic area, rich thanks to the diversity and vitality of its territories, proud of its economical accomplishments as well as its great cultural and natural heritage. The five “départements” of Pays de Loire gather both an influence and strong roots, and they take on the most audacious challenges based on values for the future: the taste of effort, determination and fighting spirit, a sense of collectiveness. As many requirements that have enabled the inhabitants to lead the race in quite a few domains including sport. The Pays de Loire region indeed hosts sporting events known across the World like the Vendée Globe sailing race, the 24-Hours of Le Mans and of course this new Grand Départ of the Tour de France.

  • PAYS DE LA LOIRE

Area: 32 000 km²
5 “départements”: Loire-Atlantique (44), Maine-et-Loire (49), Mayenne (53), Sarthe (72) and Vendée (85)
3.6 millions inhabitants (Ligériens)

www.paysdelaloire.fr

  • Wednesday 4th of July: opening of the headquarters and press centre at Vendéspace in Mouilleron-le-Captif (85)
  • Thursday 5th of July: Tour de France 2018 teams presentation in La Roche-sur-Yon 
  • Saturday 7th of July: 1st stage, Noirmoutier-en-l’Île > Fontenay-le-Comte
  • Sunday 8th of July: 2nd stage, Mouilleron-Saint-Germain > La Roche-sur-Yon
  • Monday 9th of July: 3rd stage, Cholet > Cholet (Team TT)
  • Tuesday 10th of July: 4th stage, La Baule > Sarzeau

Grand Départ Sites


Countdown to the start

WEDNESDAY, 4 JULY

14.00 - 20.00 Opening hours of the reception/welcome desk at Vendéspace (Dojo) in Mouilleron-le-Captif
14.00 - 21.00 Opening hours of the press centre at Vendéspace (salle sportive)
14.30 Riders’ press conference for children at Vendéspace (Salle du Rez-de-jardin)

THURSDAY, 5 JULY

8.00 - 20.00

Opening hours of the reception/welcome desk at Vendéspace
8.00 - 22.00 Opening hours of the press centre at Vendéspace
15.00 - 21.00 Opening hours of the Tour de France Fan Park in the Place de la Vendée at La Roche-sur-Yon
17.30 General briefing for teams (sports directors and riders) at Grand R Esplanade Jeannie Mazurelle in La Roche-sur-Yon.
In camera, no general admittance
18.30 - 20.00 Presentation of the teams participating in the 2018 Tour de France at Place Napoléon in La Roche-sur-Yon

FRIDAY, 6 JULY

8.00 - 20.00

Opening hours of the reception/welcome desk at Vendéspace
8.00 - 22.00 Opening hours of the press centre at Vendéspace
10.30 Meeting for sport directors/Tour de France organisation/UCI commissaires’ jury at Vendéspace (Salle Eddy Merckx)
10.30 Meeting for directors of the publicity caravan at Vendéspace (Salle Jacques Anquetil)
10.30 - 19.00 Opening hours of the Tour de France Fan Park at the Place de la Vendée in La Roche-sur-Yon
12.00 Meeting for sports directors and France Télévisions at Vendéspace (Salle Eddy Merckx)
12.30 Meeting for the Tour de France and France Télévisions at Vendéspace (Salle Eddy Merckx)
13.30 Meeting for those responsible for events in the start and finish areas (partners, general commissariat) at Vendéspace (Salle Eddy Merckx)
15.30 Road safety meeting with drivers authorised to drive on the Tour de France route at Vendéspace (room no. 2)
16.30 Meeting for members of the Tour de France caravan at Vendéspace (Salle Jacques Anquetil)
17.15 Meeting for race organisation drivers and motorbike pilots with the Commissaires’ Jury at Vendéspace (Salle Bernard Hinault)
18.00 Meeting for media motorbike users (pilots, photographers, cameramen, radio crew…) with the Commissaires’ Jury at Vendéspace (Salle Eddy Merckx)

SATURDAY, 7 JULY

8.00 Official opening of the Tour de France Village in Place Prée au Duc at Noirmoutier-en-l’Île
9.00 - 22.00 Opening hours of the reception/welcome desk and press centre at Espace René Cassin in Fontenay-le-Comte
9.00 Passage of the publicity caravan through the start line for the first stage between Noirmoutier-en-l’Île and Fontenay-le-Comte
10.30 - 19.00 Opening hours of the Tour de France Fan Park at the Place de la Vendée in La Roche-sur-Yon
10.50 Official start ceremony for the Tour de France in Place de l’Ancien Moulin à Eau in Noirmoutier-en-l’Île
11.00 Neutralised start of the first stage in Place de l’Ancien Moulin à Eau
11.10 Official (deneutralised) start of the first stage on the D38
Around 15.50 Finish of the first stage at Boulevard Duguesclin in Fontenay-le-Comte

The official presentation of the 176 riders representing the 22 teams participating in the 2018 Tour de France will take place between 18.30 and 20.00 on Thursday 5 July in La Roche-sur-Yon.

Following the general briefing that will take place at 17.30 at Grand R, Place Jeannie Mazurelle, the riders will first ride in procession to Place Napoléon, location of the podium where they will be presented in turn to the public. After being presented, each team will then continue on to Place de la Vendée and complete their presentation parade on Boulevard des États-Unis in front of the Vendée National Stud (Haras de la Vendee).

The great hours

The roads of Vendée and Pays de la Loire are intimately linked to the history of the Tour de France. Back in 1919 thanks to a stage finish in Les Sables-d’Olonne, Vendée appeared for the first time on the map of the Tour. Nantes had already been visited in 1903 during the inaugural edition of the event.

1937, La Roche-sur-Yon. Roger Lapébie, future winner of the that Tour captured a stage victory and comforted his yellow jersey.
1957, Nantes. The French national team poses for posterity before the first Grand Départ given from the Pays de la Loire region.
1972, Cyrille Guimard, born in Bouguenais in Loire-Atlantique. He captured 7 stage wins on the Tour and claimed victory here in Royan after the start was given from Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez.
1965, La Baule. Belgian Guido Reybroeck conquered there, the first of his 6 victories on the Tour.
1975, Saint-Jean-de-Monts. Eddy Merckx then World Champion claimed victory here in a time-trial stage.
1979, Jean-René Bernaudeau, born in Saint-Maurice-le-Girard in Vendée. 5th of the general classification and White Jersey as best young rider.
1993, Le Puy-du-Fou. Miguel Indurain on his way to the 3rd of his 5 victories triumphs as soon as the prologue.
2011, Thomas Voeckler. “Vendéen” by adoption and Yellow Jersey during ten days.
2016, Angers. Mark Cavendish conquered the 28th of his 30 Tour stage victories.

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