Tour de France Stage 11 Preview

WEDNESDAY, JULY 13TH – STAGE 11 – 162.5km

Profile Carcassonne / Montpellier 162.5KM

Mountain passes & hills Carcassonne / Montpellier 162.5KM

  • Km 38.0 – Côte de Minerve2.4 kilometre-long climb at 5.4% – category 4
  • Km 57.0 – Côte de Villespassans2.3 kilometre-long climb at 4.5% – category 4

Intermediate sprint Carcassonne / Montpellier 162.5KM

  • Km 113.5 – PÉZENAS

Last km Carcassonne / Montpellier 162.5KM

The Start:

Carcassonne

The lighting up of the city, a fireworks show attracting over 500,000 people each year on the evening of the 14th of July, coincided in 2006 with the visit of the Tour and the victory of Ukrainian Yaroslav Popovych. Among the riders who also put Carcassonne on fire, Jean Stablinski had triumphed in 1962, between a stage success on the Vuelta that he had finished in 6th spot, a French national champion’s title and of course his crowning at the World Championships.

Stage town for the 9th time
Prefecture of the Aude (11)
47,100 inhabitants (Carcassonnais), 105,000 inhabitants within the 73 communes comprising the Carcassonne municipality
362,000 inhabitants in the AudeEconomy: Tourism, ENAC (National School of Civil Aviation), IUT (branch of Perpignan University), nursing schoolCulture: Cité de Carcassonne (medieval town and fortification restored in the 19th century), the Canal du Midi (17th century), Saint-Michel Cathedral (13th century), Saint-Nazaire Basilica (ninth to 14th centuries), Jean Deschamps Theatre, Jean Alary Theatre, Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Schooling, Museum of Torture, Jean Beaubois Museum, Cultural Centre for the Remembrance of Conflict. Festivals: Carcassonne Festival, Féria (Spanish-themed festival), Wine Festival, Festival Convenanza (DJs and dance music), Contrechamps (documentary film festival), Embrasement de la Cité (14 July fireworks)Sport: ASC XIII (rugby league, championnat de France Élite 1), USC XV (rugby, Pro D2), Club Nautique Carcassonnais (sailing). Events: Swimming meet, marathon, Ronde des Vendanges (running race in the city)

Specialities: Cassoulet, petit Carcassonnais (madeleine), Micheline (liqueur), Aude wines (Minervois, Cabardes, Corbières, Malepère…)

Sustainable development: 18km of cycle paths (bike paths or greenways)

Distinctions: La Cité and the Canal du Midi are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, city of art and history, Pavillon Bleu (blue flag beach) award, tourist resort

The Finish:

Montpellier

The prefecture of the Hérault area that appeared on the Tour in 1930, was then often chosen as a stage city between the Alps and the Pyrenees or vice versa. The sprinters often made the best of it to perform in style. Several winners of the green jersey have indeed won in Montpellier like André Darrigade, Olaf Ludwig, Robbie McEwen or Mark Cavendish. In 2013, André Greipel had claimed the fifth stage success of his career on the Tour.

Stage town for the 32nd time
Prefecture of the Hérault (34)
270,000 inhabitants (Montpelliérains)
France’s eighth-largest cityEconomy: 32,000 businesses operating in the city. Tech sectors: research (4,000 researchers in Montpellier), high technology, agronomy, health, tourism (five million visitors a year), university (70,000 students)Culture: Saint-Pierre Cathedral (16th century), Place Royale du Peyrou (17th century), Babote Tower (12th to 18th centuries), Opéra Comédie (18th century), Ursuline Convent (17th century), Le Pavillon populaire Espace Dominique Bagouet (arts’ centre and historic building), Carré Sainte-Anne art gallery, La Panacée (contemporary arts’ centre). Festivals: Zones Artistiques Temporaires (street art and performance), Printemps des Comédiens (theatre and performance), Montpellier Danse (dance festival), Cinemed (film festival), Festival de Radio-France and Montpellier Languedoc-Roussillon (theatre, music, art), Battle of the Year (modern dance)Sport: MHSC (football, Ligue 1), MHR (rugby, Top 14), MHB (handball, Division 1), BLMMMA (basketball, Women’s League). Events: Open Sud de France (tennis), marathon, Beach Masters (volleyball), International Festival of Extreme Sports

Specialities: Mediterranean cuisine, Montpellier butter (condiment flavoured with herbs and anchovies), grisettes (sweets)

Sustainable development: 160km of cycle paths, Vélomagg (bike hire), four tram lines

Labels: Qualiville good service award, member of the organisation representing France’s 10 major green cities

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