The last two stages that finished in Saint-Flour are written in capital letters in the history book of French cycling. In 2004, Richard Virenque prevailed after riding solo for more than 60 kilometres, putting him on target for his seventh polka-dot jersey. Thomas Voeckler was clad in yellow at the time…and would precisely go on to reconquer the jersey in Saint-Flour in 2011.
The Tarn prefecture was voted “most sporting city in France” by L’Équipe in 2012, right after it was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list for the majesty of the Cathedral of Saint Cecilia of Albi, described as the largest brick building in the world. The most recent finish in Albi was the following year, with a clear victory by Peter Sagan. Little did the Slovak know that it would take him three years to win another stage in the Tour!