Tour de France Stage 1 Preview



Stage Profile:
Intermediate Sprint:
  • Km 118.5 – LA HAYE
Last KM:
The Start:


The three-million tourists who visit the Mont-Saint-Michel every year almost always leave with their souvenir photography. And in terms of pictures, Tony Martin certainly has the most prestigious one, wearing the World Champion’s rainbow jersey and flying to victory during the first individual time-trial of the 2013 Tour. The first winner at the foot of the ‘Western Marvel’ was belgian Johan Museeuw. It was back in 1990.

Stage town for the 3rd time
Commune in La Manche (50)
42 inhabitants (Montois), 45,900 inhabitants within the 52 communes comprising the Avranches – Mont-Saint-Michel municipality
518,000 inhabitants in La Manche

Economy: tourism, agriculture

Culture: Abbey (founded in 709, France’s second most-visited monument of France with about 1.5 million visitors a year), Archéoscope (a son et lumière show retracing the successive stages in the founding of the abbey), historical museum, Museum of the Sea and Ecology, Ecomuseum of the Bay, Saint-Gervais treasury. At Avranches: Scriptorial (manuscripts from Mont-Saint-Michel), botanic garden, Place du Général Patton. At Ducey: Château des Montgommery. At Huisnes-sur-Mer: Mont Huisnes German mausoleum. Festivals: Estivales summer festival (music), Déjeuner en fête sur l’herbe (Lunch on the Grass), Jazz in the Bay

Sport: Union Sportive Avranches – Mont-Saint-Michel (football), Vélo Club d’Avranches. Leisure activities: walks across the bay, canoeing and kayaking, maringotes (horse-drawn vehicles), lots of walking trails. Events: Bay Marathon, Rando-baie du Mont-Saint-Michel (walking)

Specialities: Salt meadow lamb, calvados, cider, seafood, Mère Poulard omelette, Louise Bonne d’Avranches (type of pear). Coastal fauna: harbour seals and dolphins

Distinctions: Mont-Saint-Michel and the bay were the first French sites to be given UNESCO World Heritage Status in 1979

Slogan: The abbey is known as “The Wonder of the West”



The Finish:

Utah Beach Sainte-Marie-du-Mont

On the 6th of June 1944, the beach of La Madeleine was, under codename ‘Utah Beach’, one of five major sites chosen for the deployment of American army forces coming both from air and sea. Utah Beach would play a decisive role in the success of the D-Day operations: over 23,000 soldiers were able to step on French soil in just a few hours and clear the essential access for the allied counterattack.

Stage venue for the 1st time
Normandy Landing Beach during the Second World War
Located in Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, a commune in La Manche (50)
800 inhabitants (Montois)
25,760 inhabitants within the 47 communes comprising the Bay of Cotentin municipality
3,335,000 inhabitants in Normandy

Economy: Commemorative tourism, agriculture (dairy production)

Culture: Utah Landing Beach Museum (history of D-Day landings in Normandy on 6 June 1944, tribute to the 836,000 men who took part in the landings), the Occupation Museum, Museum of the Liberation, Airborne Museum in Sainte-Mère-Église, Church of Notre-Dame de l’Assomption (11th century), La Madeleine chapel (ninth century, destroyed in 1944 and rebuilt using the remains of the monument), Audouville fort (17th century), Château de l’Ilet (17th century), several mansions (16th to 18th centuries). Events: Concert and release of lanterns, Feast Day

Sport: AS Sainte-Marie-du-Mont (football), watersports (sailing, water walking), racecourse and specialised training centre for horses using thalassotherapy

Specialities: Seafood, shellfish (famous oyster farms and farmed mussels), part of the AOC Isigny Sainte-Mère geographical area (butter, cheese, cream), cider, apple juice, Dupont d’Isigny caramels at Carentan, Sainte-Mère-Église is home of the Norman Cob (draft horse)

Sustainable development: The Beauguillot bird sanctuary, a site of ornithological interest

Distinctions: The D-Day Museum holds Qualité Tourisme and Tourisme Handicap awards


For more info: Le Tour

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