WEDNESDAY, JULY 9TH – STAGE 5 – 155.5km
Tour de France Says:
The time has come for the famous stage and its nine cobbled sectors, which promise, dare I say it, a “battlefield”. It all starts in Ypres, Belgium, a city notorious for the gas attacks launched in it. It would have been unacceptable for the Tour not to commemorate the Centenary of the start of World War I in its own way… However, we will focus on the race, which promises to be a spectacular showdown. I do not expect Froome to thrive on the cobblestones but, who knows, he may want to prove us wrong… For him and many others, this is a stage riddled with dangers. The cobblestones will be a hinge moment in the race.
Intermediate sprint Ypres / Arenberg Porte du Hainaut 155.5KM
- Km 97.0 – TEMPLEUVE
Last km Ypres / Arenberg Porte du Hainaut 155.5KM
Ypres, that will welcome the Tour de France for the very first time, also hosts, like in most of the towns of the country, a well established cycling meeting. The Kattekoers (Cat race) which refers to the tradition of getting rid of cats that were considered as a menace to the commercial prosperity of the city specialised in the cloth industry, was created in 1934. Back in 2006, Greg Van Avermaet conquered one of his very first successes. Ypres is also known as the birth city of Andr Noyelle, Olympic cycling champion in 1952, and Nol Vantyghem, winner of Paris-Tours in 1972.
Stage town for the 1st time
West Flanders capital city. Ieper in Flemish
Population : 35,000 inhabitants (Yprois)
Economy : metal industry, construction, food, health, education, tourism
Culture : Grand Place, The Cloth Hall, belfry, The Menin Gate (every evening the bugle sounds The Last Post in homage to the victims of the First World War), The Knights Templars House, Saint-Martin Cathedral, Saint George Memorial church, military cemeteries, fortifi cations of Vauban, In Flanders Fields Museum, Merghelynck Museum, Belle Hospice Museum, Bellewaerde Park. Festivals: The City of Wings (street festival), Ypres Cat Festival.
Sport : Flac (athletics). Events: Kattekoers (the cat race, cycling), 100 km around Ypres hiking, Geko Ypres Rally (European Rally Championship)
Specialities : Tapjesvlees d’Ypres (braised meat with lardons cooked on a bed of vegetables), Tarte snateur, Tartine d’Ypres (sweet bread with cinnamon), Patte de chat (Danish pastry shaped like a cat’s claw) Cockerulle Cake (with almonds and candied fruit), Terrine de roussette (fish terrine)
Sustainable Development : Westhoek cycling network, bike hire, marked cycle routes, Ypres Salient pedestrian network
Labels : City of Cats, City of Peace
Finish: Arenberg Porte du Hainaut
The Arenberg quary punctuated the life of the Wallers common for most of the 20th century. Even after the mining site was closed down in 1989, most of the former miners were called upon to take part in Claude Berri’s film, Germinal. In terms of cycling, Arenberg is also known for the famous ‘tranche’ where Paris-Roubaix is sometimes won and often lost, since it was introduced on the course in 1968, thanks to Jean Stablinski’s idea. During the 2010 Tour, the finish line of a stage including several cobbled sectors saw Thor Hushovd triumph just by the old mine.
Stage town for the 2nd time
Population : 5,600 inhabitants in Wallers-Arenberg, commune in the Nord department (59) and seat of the urban community of Porte du Hainaut: 46 communes, 158,787 inhabitants
Economy : thirty business parks, railway, automotive, food, pharmaceutical, logistics industries, spas, tourism (hiking, Nature Park and Raismes Leisure park, water activities at the river port)
Culture : The Arenberg Mine, Saint-Amand Abbey Tower, the Italian-style theatre in Denain, Denain museums, Saint-Amand, Bouchain, Escaudain. Events: The Battles of Denain (son et lumire), Water Festival in Saint-Amand,
Sport : 12 top level clubs (basketball, water-polo, swimming, volley-ball, tennis, handball, cycling). Events: Horse Show, Course des Terrils (regional trail
run), Peace Race, Denain Grand Prix, Troue d’Arenberg (cobbled section in the Paris ? Roubaix race), Motorcycle Festival, Tennis Open
Specialities : Saint-Amand mineral waters, beers, ‘Le terril de Germinal’ chocolates, ‘Le pav d’Enfer’ gteau Sustainable Development: Saint-Amand river port awarded the blue fl ag, Ecological requalifi cation of the Scarpe
Labels : Wallers ? Arenberg Mine, Historical site designated a UNESCO world heritage site