The starts that took place in Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux were generally followed by intensive and decisive confrontations. It was the case back in 2009 when the peloton of Paris-Nice headed towards the Montagne de Lure where Alberto Contador triumphed in style. On the 2011 Tour, the Norwegian clan was inspired by the start in the Drôme area: at the finish in Gap, Thor Hushovd beat his young compatriot Edvald Boasson Hagen for what was to be an unprecedented double.
Laurent Jalabert was the first to shine at the summit of the Côte de la Croix-Neuve in 1995. Ten years later, the peloton returned to the Gévaudan area, beaten by an inspired escapee, Marcos Serrano. Then, in 2010, it was Joaquim Rodriguez’s turn to take off just before reaching the airfield where the final scene of classic French film La Grande Vadrouille, directed by Gerard Oury, was shot. In 2015, french pair Pinot-Bardet were countered and beaten in the final kilometre by Stephen Cummings.