The kings of France were crowned in Reims for almost a millennium. Later on, it was world champions who tasted glory here, with Theo Middelkamp in 1947 and Ercole Baldini in 1958. It was also during that 1958 edition of the Worlds that the first rainbow jersey was awarded to a woman, Luxembourg's Elsy Jacobs. In the Tour, the last four finishes in Reims have ended in bunch sprints won by Djamolidine Abdoujaparov (1991), Robbie McEwen (2002), Alessandro Petacchi (2010) and André Greipel (2014).
Having featured in the Tour since 1905, the City of the Golden Doors is remembered for the stroke of bad luck of Christophe Mengin, who was powering to victory when he crashed on the final turn back in 2005. Lorenzo Bernucci pounced to claim his only Tour stage win. He was not the first Italian to shine in the city. Despite only taking part in three editions of the Tour de France, Fausto Coppi won twice in Nancy (1949 and 1952) —a clean sweep!