The Tour de France and the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift on the move for cycling as a means of transport

Municipality of Gers
First time stage city
Population: 2,100.
Personalities: Luis Ocana (cycling). Thierry Lacroix, Camille Bonnet (rugby). Michel Sarran (chef). Henri Darqué (aviator).
Specialities: armagnac. Côtes-de-Saint-Mont wines. Floc de Gascogne. Foie gras. Confits.
Culture and festivals: on the roads to Santiago de Compostela. Classic Festival (old cars, October). Festi'Théâtre (November). Tempo Latino (in Vic-Fezensac).
Sports: Paul Armagnac automobile circuit. AA Nogaro (rugby). TC Nogaro (tennis, 2nd division).
Events: car races on the Nogaro circuit (Easter Cup, Six Hours of Nogaro, F2 Grand Prix), Luis Ocana trophy, Landes races.
Economy: agriculture. Commerce (Gers distribution, Fourcade SAS, Codinog). Industrial mechanics. Nogaropôle (Cousso aeronautical establishments). 
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Vue aérienne de Nogaro © Ville de Nogaro/Jean-Paul Campistron


Nogaro is closely linked to the memory of Luis Ocana, who owned a property in Caupenne-d'Armagnac, 6 km away. It was on this farm that the 1973 Tour de France winner took his own life in 1994. The Luis Ocana Trophy has been organised several times on the Nogaro racetrack, which also hosts an endurance event, the Six Hours of Nogaro.  It is this circuit, frequented by F2, F2 and GT championship cars, that has made its sporting reputation, but the town has also seen cycling racers pass through. In 1974, Nogaro organised the Critérium des As, the prestigious race that brought together, from 1921 to 1990, the best riders of the year at the end of the season. Eddy Merckx of course won that year, one of the few times the event was not held in the Paris region. Nogaro also received a visit from the Route du Sud in 2017 for a stage win by New Zealander Tom Scully. 

Luis Ocana, Bernard Thévenet et Lucien Van Impe sur le Tour de France 1973 © Presse Sports


Paul Armagnac circuit
Established: 1960
History: after several car races organised in the town, the circuit was completed in 1960 and inaugurated on 3 October of that year. It was named after Gers-born driver Paul Armagnac, who died racing at Montlhéry in 1962 during the 1,000 km of Paris. The layout was inspired by the one in Sebring, Florida. It was the first permanent French motor racing circuit, measuring 1,752 metres long and 12 metres wide, with nine bends and eight pits. The first race run was the Nogaro Grand Prix, won by Bruno Basini.
Characteristics: in 1973, the length of the circuit was increased to 3,120 m and its width to 9.50 m, it had 8 bends and the number of pits increased to 64. A control tower and a medical centre were also built. These buildings are now the old stands. In 2007, the starting line was moved. It is now located after the "S of the lake" and allows the construction of a new pit building and a new control tower.
Current destination: the circuit has hosted Formula 2 events, the French Motorcycle Grand Prix twice and the French Superbike Championship every year, as well as numerous touring and grand touring events. The annual events are the Easter Cup and the Nogaro Grand Prix.  

St. Nicholas' Collegiate Church
Construction: 11th to 19th centuries.
Style: Romanesque.
History: the construction of the collegiate church of Saint-Nicolas is due to the bishop of Auch, Saint Austinde, on land bought from the count of Armagnac in 1049-1050. Saint Austinde is said to have been responsible for the transformation of the church into a collegiate church with regular canons. The church underwent a controversial restoration in the 19th century.
Characteristics: the old collegiate church, located at the end of the town, does not offer anything that deserves attention from the outside. It has a banal exterior due to the 19th century restorations that hid the old parts.
Special features: the restoration work undertaken in 1995 brought to light important Romanesque frescoes of great quality in the apses. In the north apse, a life of Saint Lawrence, which is displayed in two registers, the actions of the saint above, his martyrdom below. In the south absidiole: Christ in majesty in a mandorla surrounded by the tetramorph.
Lisiting: Historical Monument since 1988.  

Notre-Dame de Bouit or Notre-Dame of the Pilots
Construction: 11th century
Style: Gothic.
History: the Notre-Dame-de-Bouit chapel is a place of pilgrimage. According to legend, its foundation is linked to a prodigy: an ox named "Bouët", owned by a local lord, having uprooted and transported a tree stump reminiscent of the shape of the Virgin, its master vowed to build a church if he won a victory over his neighbour and bitter enemy. His wish was granted and the chapel was built.
Trivia: in 1999 it was named Our Lady of the Drivers because of its proximity to the Nogaro circuit.  

Landes races
The Robert Castagnon Arena, built in 1929, is typical of the Landes race, a Gascon sport par excellence. On 14 July (the great Golden Horn competition), 15 August and during the French championship in October (every three years in Nogaro), they welcome all aficionados of the discipline. The jumpers, "flying men", take part in the success of these events with their angel jumps, somersaults and jumps in the beret. The French Landes race championship was created in Nogaro in 1956 and the Corne d'Or (which rewards the best steed) in 1959 by Robert Castagnon.  

La Tour du circuit Paul Armagnac de Nogaro © Ville de Nogaro/Jean-Paul Campistron
Vue aérienne de la Collégiale Saint-Nicolas © Ville de Nogaro/Jean-Paul Campistron
La Collégiale Saint-Nicolas © Ville de Nogaro/Jean-Paul Campistron
La chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bouit © Creative Commons 2.0/F.123
Les courses landaises © Ville de Nogaro/Jean-Paul Campistron
Vue aérienne des Arènes Robert Castagnon © Ville de Nogaro/Jean-Paul Campistron


Floc de Gascogne

Floc-de-Gascogne is a liqueur wine made by mixing grape must and young Armagnac. Inherited from a 16th century recipe, it has been recognised since 1990 as an AOC and produced in a large part of the Gers, Landes and Lot-et-Garonne departments. It takes its name from flòc, which means "bunch of flowers" in Gascon and comes from an old peasant recipe (2/3 grape juice, 1/3 armagnac, for 16 to 18% alcohol) reserved for family consumption. In Nogaro, which has some of the most famous armagnac and floc cellars, floc is celebrated in the middle of August since 2019.

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