The village is among the nine new sites or cities on the map of the Tour, but the riders will be on familiar territory as they go through the “département” of Hautes-Pyrénées that welcomes the event on a regular basis. Almost a neighbor of Trie-sur-Baïse, the city of Lannemezan was often the start of Pyrenees stages, in particular those heading to the Plateau de Beille. The préfecture, Tarbes, has welcomed the Tour since 1933.
It’ll be the 70th time that Pau welcomes the Tour de France after hosting it for the first time in 1930. The base camp, before or after having climbed the Pyrenees, is a perfect location for all sorts of stage profiles and the list of winners there shows just that: with climbers such as René Vietto and Fausto Coppi, or breakaway experts like Erik Breukink and Pierrick Fédrigo. In the sprinters clan, Sean Kelly, Erik Zabel and Robbie McEwen showed the way to the most recent winner in Pau, Marcel Kittel who conquered his 5th stage win there last summer, the 14th of his Tour career.