Heritage

Named “most sporting city of France” on three occasions (1972, 2007 and 2014) by daily sports newspaper L’Equipe, Cholet had already shown its vocation a long time ago, welcoming the Tour de France for the first time in 1936 with a stage won by Félicien Vervaecke, also a two-time best climber of the event (1935, 1937) and wearer of the Yellow jersey during six days before loosing it to Gino Bartali in 1938. For its last visit in 2008, the peloton had started stage 5 from Cholet not knowing that it would be a historic day: several hours later, Mark Cavendish triumphed in Chateauroux and started his impressive series of 30 stage victories. The Brit remains the biggest collector of wins still riding and the second of all time behind Eddy Merckx.

On the road

MAINE-ET-LOIRE (49)

Population: 810,186
Prefecture: Angers
Sub-prefectures: Cholet, Saumur, Segré
Surface: 7,178 km²

Specialties: Anjou and Saumur vineyards (32 appellations), plum pâté, fouaces, sliced ​​apples, rillauds ...

Sports clubs: Angers SCO (football, league 1), Cholet Basket (Basketball, Pro A), Women's Union Angers Basket 49 (Women's League), Les Ducs d'Angers (Ice Hockey), La Vaillante Angers Table tennis (Pro A), La Romagne Table Tennis (Pro A), Angers Noyant Handball Club (Pro D2)

Competitions: Mondial du Lion (riding), Cholet Pays de Loire (cycling), Pro Stars Tournament (basketball), Saumur International 3-Star International Competition (horse riding), 2016 Elite French Athletics Championships (Angers).

Festivals: Anjou Festival (outdoor theater); Premiers Plans Festival of Angers; Jazz Festival Flavors in Segré; National days of books and wine in Saumur; Bike Festival in Anjou.

Economy: Tourism (Terra Botanica first European park dedicated to plants, Zoo Bioparc of Doué-la-Fontaine, Loire à Vélo); Agriculture, viticulture; Agribusiness Plastics-rubber; Automotive; Connected objects; Fashion

Remarkable sites: Abbey of Fontevraud, Lorie Valley listed as a World Heritage site by Unesco, Castle of Angers and tapestry of the apocalypse; Castle of Montsoreau; Cadre Noir of Saumur (equestrian school).

Websites / FB / Twitter: www.anjou-tourisme.com / www.maine-et-loire.fr / www.facebook.com/anjou.tourisme / twitter.com/Anjoutourisme / www.facebook.com/Departement49 / twitter.com/Maine_et_Loire

Vallée de la Moine (zone humide)

Km 12.5

SAINT-ANDRÉ-DE-LA MARCHE (Pop: 2,830)

To see for its interesting shoemaking museum, opened in 1995 and which leads to look at one’s feet feet in a different light. Installed in a former factory, the museum displays functioning machines taking the visitors through every step of the making of a shoe. The permanent collection consists of hundreds of shoes classified by themes: trades, sports, countries or extravagant. Until October, a temporary exhibition, high in color and heels, is devoted to the 1970s.

GEOLOGICAL HERITAGE

Uranium

Granitic rocks basically contain 3 types of minerals: quartz, feldspar and mica. They also contain other minerals, in smaller quantities. Sometimes these minerals are concentrated and form ores. This is the case with uranium-rich minerals found in granites. Such ores have been exploited in the Cholet region, notably for nuclear energy.

MNHN – Patrick De Wever, professeur

Km 18.5

LA ROMAGNE (Pop: 1,825)

La Romagne is particularly renowned for  its table tennis team, Stella Sports La Romagne, who have been playing in the France Pro A championship since 2005 and were French championship runner-ups in 2017 and quarter-finalists in the Champions League. The La Stella sports hall, home to the club, was inaugurated in 2013.

Km 25

LA SÉGUINIÈRE (Pop: 4,000)

Its Notre-Dame de l’Assomption chruch, listed as a Historical Monument, was built on the site of an earlier 11th century church, a former dependency of the Abbey of St Michel-en-l'Herm. The parish is part of the diocese of Angers since 1802. The building was completely rebuilt for its older part during the Renaissance by Charles Du Plessis and Louise de Montfaucon-Saint-Mesmin. Their blason is to be found in many parts of the building. The church was enlarged and raised to the east between 1858 and 1860. Notable points in the church: the carved vaults of the south aisle, the central nave and contemporary stained glass windows representing the Wars of Vendée and the life of Father de Montfort who came to La Séguinière in 1713 and 1715.

LANDSCAPE OF THE DAY 

Vendée and Les Mauges woodlands

The woodlands of Vendée and Les Mauges alternate between a plateau of gentle undulations and enclosed valleys. This wooded landscape offers open areas of large-scale cultivation on the plateaux and areas of valleys marked by denser networks of hedges, whose pathways echo the topography. The view is guided by architectural unity and by the landmarks on the plateau: belltowers, village silhouettes, and rural buildings.

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