TUESDAY, JULY 22ND – STAGE 16 – 237.5km
Tour de France Says:
The longest stage of the 2014 Tour comes right up the second rest day. With 237.5 km on the menu and the Port de Bals as a dessert, the riders will spend about six hours on the saddle.
The last few years have shown that riders who make it to the top with a margin of 30 to 40 seconds can rest assured of keeping it until the finish and taking the win in Bagnres-de-Luchon. The odds are on the attackers’ side, thus. Sure, this does not look like the toughest stage in the Tour, but remember that this is where Andy Schleck lost the yellow jersey due to a mechanical in 2010.
Mountain passes & hills Carcassonne / Bagnres-de-Luchon 237.5KM
- Km 25.0 – Cte de Fanjeaux
2.4 kilometer-long climb at 4.9% – category 4
- Km 71.5 – Cte de Pamiers
2.5 kilometer-long climb at 5.4% – category 4
- Km 155.0 – Col de Portet-d’Aspet (1 069 m)
5.4 kilometer-long climb at 6.9% – category 2
- Km 176.5 – Col des Ares
6 kilometer-long climb at 5.2% – category 3
- Km 216.0 – Port de Bals (1 755 m)
11.7 kilometer-long climb at 7.7% – category H
Intermediate sprint Carcassonne / Bagnres-de-Luchon 237.5KM
- Km 123.5 – SAINT-GIRONS
Last km Carcassonne / Bagnres-de-Luchon 237.5KM
An impressive fireworks show that attracts each year over 500 000 people on the evening of the 14th of July came as a bit of a bonus gift for Yaroslav Popovych who had won the stage that finished in the town in 2006. Among the riders who put Carcassonne on fire, Jean Stablinski had triumphed there during one of his most glorious seasons. It came after a stage success at the Tour of Spain that he finished in 6th position overall, a second French champion’s title and of course his victory at the World Championships.
Stage town for the 16th time
Population : 48,700 inhabitants (Carcassonnais), 105,000 in the 73 communes of Carcassonne Agglo
Economy : tourism, Arts, University Institute of Technology, airport
Culture : City of Carcassonne and chteau comtal (registered in the Centre des monuments nationaux), Midi canal, Lake Cavayre, Saint-Nazaire Basilica, Jean Alary theatre, Saint-Vincent belltower, Museum of Fine Arts, muse-trsor de Notre-Dame de l’Abbaye, School Museum, Centre of National Monuments.
Festivals: Carcassonne Festival, The Magic of Christmas, Carcassonne Fair, Saint-Vincent Festival
Sport : USC XV (rugby), ASC XIII (rugby). Events: Carcassonne Duathlon, International Swimming Meeting, Ronde des vendanges, Cross de la Cit (running races around the city)
Specialites : Club Prosper Montagn, cooking competition, cassoulet, wines from Aude (Minervois, Cabards, Corbires, Malepre)
Sustainable Development : 7 km of cycle paths, public transport running on natural gas or electricity.
Labels : Medieval city and Midi canal classed as UNESCO world heritage sites, the Saint-Louis Bastide classed as a protected area, Blue Flag for the Midi Canal Port, 1 flower
In 1910, Luchon entered history by welcoming the finish and then the start of the first two high mountain stages of the Tour de France, both claimed by Octave Lapize. For that reason, the city deserves its nickname as the Queen of the Pyrenees.
A hundred years later, a similar program had been set up to the riders of the Tour. Thomas Voeckler won in Bagnres-de-Luchon with the French champion’s jersey on his shoulders. And in 2012, the Europcar rider made the best of a long breakaway to conquer yet another win in the thermal town.
Stage town for the 52nd time
Capital town of Haute-Garonne (31), Mountain tourist resort
Population : 2,800 inhabitants (Luchonnais)
Economy : ‘four seasons’ tourism, hydrotherapy, agropastoralism
Culture : Luchon-Superbagnres, doyenne of the Pyrenean resorts, Casino, Spas, Villa Edmond Rostand, outstanding parks and gardens, Museum of the Pays de Luchon, Aeronautical Museum, Hospice de France Museum, Cog
Railway Museum, Maison du Curiste. Festivals: Audiovisual Festival, Flower Festival, Jazz Festival
Sport : La Lapbie sportive, Route du Sud, Luchon Aneto Trail. Activities: ski, snowshoeing, hiking, climbing, mountain biking, white water sports, skate park. Top level sports teams (Toulouse FC, football, Spacer’s Toulouse Volleyball, Fenix Toulouse handball)
Specialities : ptram (a dish prepared from sheep tripe) pistache (mutton based cassoulet), gteau la broche (cake cooked on a spit), ‘Dardenne’ chocolates, Mineral water from Luchon, organic O trout, Pyrenean soap factory
Sustainable Development : shuttles to link up the spas and the ski slopes, cycle paths, Energy for Citizens Award 2012
Labels : Grand Site Midi-Pyrnes, 3 fl owers, European Association of Historic Thermal Spa Towns, classified tourist resort