The capital of the French Basque Country had the characteristics required to attract the organisers of the first Tours de France, who wanted to stick to the very limits of the country and included it on the race programme from 1906 right through to 1927. During that period, Lucien Petit-Breton, Octave Lapize, Firmin Lambot, Ottavio Bottecchia and Nicolas Frantz built towards their Tour successes there. Since then, the town has been the talk of the sporting world thanks to the exploits of the rugby players of Aviron Bayonnais, three times French champions (1913-34-43), and to one of its most famous sons, Didier Deschamps, the World Cupwinning captain of the French football team (1998) and coach when France took the title again in 2018.

  • Stage town for the 33rd time
  • Sub-prefecture of Pyrenees-Atlantiques (64) )
  • Population: 52,000 (Bayonnais and Bayonnaises), 312,200 within the 158 communes comprising the Pays Basque municipality

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