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Tour de France Stage 4 Preview

June 27, 2016
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TUESDAY, JULY 5TH – STAGE 4 – 237.5km

Profile Saumur / Limoges 237.5KM

Profile

Mountain passes & hills Saumur / Limoges 237.5KM

  • Km 182.0 – Côte de la Maison Neuve (D25-D7)1.2 kilometre-long climb at 5.6% – category 4

Intermediate sprint Saumur / Limoges 237.5KM

  • Km 170.0 – LE DORAT
Intermediate sprint

Last km Saumur / Limoges 237.5KM

Last km

The Start:

Saumur

After Granville and Christian Dior, the peloton of the 2016 Tour will look for inspiration in the native city of Coco Chanel whose creations match in terms of elegance with the riding technique of the horse riders of the famous Cadre Noir. But it was the performance of Stephen Roche in 1987 on a time-trial between Saumur and the Futuroscope that might struck cyclists even more. After his success at the Giro, the Irishman had confirmed, thanks to that win, that he was the main favorite of the race.

Stage town for the 2nd time
Sub-Prefecture of Maine-et-Loire (49)
27,600 inhabitants (Saumurois), 66,000 inhabitants within the 32 communes comprising the Saumur Loire municipality

Economy: Viticulture (12 AOC), vegetable production (200 companies), tourism (70% of Anjou’s tourism), horse riding (more than 2,000 jobs), jewellery (Institute of Jewellery)

Culture: Château de Saumur (14th and 15th centuries), Château de Montreuil-Bellay (11th century), Château de Montsoreau (11th century), Fontevraud Royal Abbey (12th century), Cadre Noir de Saumur (equestrian centre), Museum of Armour, Cavalry Museum. Festivals: Anjou Vélo Vintage (cycling), Les Grandes Tablées (mass dining), Carrousel de Saumur (military tattoo), Festivini (wine), la Cité idéale (entertainment and culture), Festival des 1001 Voix (music), Ar(t) Horse, National Book and Wine Days

Sport: 80 sports associations and 7,000 licensees. Events: equestrian (three-day eventing), TIM (basketball), wine and mushroom walks

Specialities: Fouées (tarts topped with green beans or goat’s cheese), Paris mushrooms, dried apples, wines from Saumur and Saumur-Champigny, Royal Combier (digestif)

Sustainable development: 70km of cycle tracks and paths, 30km “Loire à vélo” network

Distinctions: Classified tourism site, town of art and history, child-friendly town, vineyards and other sights, cycling-friendly, the Loire Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage site, Cadre Noir equestrian centre holds UNESCO intangible heritage status

 

The Finish:

Limoges

In terms of sport, the city mainly made the headlines thanks to the European adventure of the Cercle Saint-Pierre, first French club to have conquered a continental basketball title. The Tour de France stopped there 14 times but the last passage of a major elite cycling race was in 2010 and the visit of Paris-Nice. On that day, many had noticed a young and promising talent of only 20 years of age: Peter Sagan had finished second of the sprint claimed by William Bonnet.

Stage town for the 15th time
Prefecture of Haute-Vienne (87)
140,000 inhabitants (Limougeauds)

Economy: Second city in the Aquitaine-Limousin-Poitou-Charentes region, lies within an urban area with more than 280,000 inhabitants. Renowned companies (Bernardaud, Haviland, Legrand, Smuggler, J. M. Weston)

Culture: St Stephen’s Cathedral (13th century), Church of Saint-Micheldes- Lions (14th century), Saint-Aurélien Chapel (15th and 16th centuries), National Porcelain Museum, Bénédictins railway station

Sport: Limoges Cercle Saint-Pierre (basketball, Pro A), the first French club in any discipline to win a European Cup (the Korac Cup in 1982), also winner the European Club Champions’ Cup (1993), USAL (rugby, Fédérale 1), Limoges FC (football, CFA 2), LABC (women’s basketball, Ligue 2), Limoges Hand 87 (handball, D2)

Specialities: Potée limousine (stew), galetous (pancake made from buckwheat flour), girot (sausage made with lamb’s blood), burgou (chestnut cake), treipaïs (chocolate, hazelnut and chestnut cake), clafoutis, flognarde (custard tart with baked pears)

Sustainable development: Limoges has had an urban trolleybus network for more than 70 years. French film star Jean Lefebvre was a driver on it before becoming an actor

Distinctions: Floral city, gold medal in the European Entente Florale competition, National Flower Festival winner

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