Tour de France Stage 15 Preview

SUNDAY, JULY 17TH – STAGE 15 – 160km

Profile Bourg-en-Bresse / Culoz 160KM


Mountain passes & hills Bourg-en-Bresse / Culoz 160KM

  • Km 23.0 – Col du Berthiand (780 m)6 kilometre-long climb at 8.1% – category 1
  • Km 52.0 – Col du Sappel (794 m)8.8 kilometre-long climb at 5.6% – category 2
  • Km 63.5 – Col de Pisseloup4.9 kilometre-long climb at 5.8% – category 3
  • Km 79.0 – Col de la Rochette5.1 kilometre-long climb at 5.4% – category 3
  • Km 113.0 – Grand Colombier (1 501 m)12.8 kilometre-long climb at 6.8% – category H
  • Km 146.0 – Lacets du Grand Colombier (891 m) (D120-D120 A)8.4 kilometre-long climb at 7.6% – category 1
Mountain passes & hills 1

Intermediate sprint Bourg-en-Bresse / Culoz 160KM

Intermediate sprint

Last km Bourg-en-Bresse / Culoz 160KM

Last km
The Start:


The prefecture of the Ain area had to wait until the XXIst century to welcome the Tour de France and witness in 2002 the first stage victory of a future green jersey, Thor Hushovd. Five years later, another sprinter, Tom Boonen, lifted his arms to the sky and captured the green jersey that he would no longer lose on the way to Paris. More recently, during the 2012 Critérium du Dauphiné, Bradley Wiggins had sealed his success by claiming the time-trial.

Stage town for the 4th time
Prefecture of Ain (01)
40,300 inhabitants (Burgiens), 73,400 inhabitants within the 15 communes comprising the Bourg-en-Bresse municipality

Economy: Renault Trucks, Nexans (telephone cables), ArcelorMittal (cable car cables, lifts for the Eiffel Tower), Ugitech (wireworks), university (3,400 students), tourism (100,000 visitors in 2015 to the Brou Royal Monastery)

Culture: Brou Royal Monastery (16th century), Co-Cathedral Notre-Dame de l’Annonciation (16th century), Hôtel-Dieu (17th century), municipal museum, theatre. Festivals: À la folie… pas du tout (music, concerts, talks), Estivales de Brou (opera, choirs, concerts), Ambronay Festival (classical music), Glorieuses de Bresse (poultry contest held since 1862)

Sport: JL Bourg (basketball, Pro B), Bourg-en-Bresse Péronnas 01 (football, Ligue 2), US Bressane (rugby, Fédérale 1). Events: International show jumping, half-marathon, Tour de l’Ain cycliste, Grand Prix de tennis Open de l’Ain

Specialities: AOP Bresse chicken, fondue bressane (chicken fondue), AOC Bresse butter and cream, Giraudet quenelles, frogs with parsley, carp from the ponds of the Dombes, AOC cheeses (Bleu de Bresse and Comté AOC), cream pie, gaudrioles (shortbread biscuits), Bugey AOC wines

Sustainable development: 24km of cycle paths within the urban network (out of 36km within the metropolitan area), 560 bike stands, 56-hectare leisure park

Distinctions: Site remarquable du gout (listed gastronomic centre), three-star floral city


The Finish:


Culoz has never yet welcomed the Tour de France but already has a place of choice in the national sports heritage. It was indeed in a village school playground that young Christophe Lemaitre contested his first sprints before later becoming a four-time European athletics champion. In terms of cycling, the Tour de l’Ain has its habits in Culoz: Rein Taaramäe in 2009, Wout Poels in 2010, are the last riders to have won there.

Stage town for the 1st time
Commune in Ain (01)
3,100 inhabitants (Culoziens), 28,100 inhabitants within the 39 communes comprising the Bugey Sud municipality
620,000 inhabitants within Ain

Economy: CIAT (European leader for heat pumps, subsidiary of an American group), SME Environnement (asbestos removal and railway and industrial demolition)

Culture: Château de Montvéran (fortified house from the 14th century, restored in the 19th century and listed as an historical monument), Maison du Patrimoine (building from the 14th century, contains town’s history). Events: Wine Fair and gourmet festival in Bugey (14th edition, Friday 15 and Saturday 16 July)

Sport: Culoz Basket Club (basketball), Union Sportive Culoz football, UCCB (cycling), ASA (athletics, the club where multiple European sprint champion Christophe Lemaitre began his career). Events: Challenge de Pétanque Franco-Suisse, Departmental Pétanque Championship, Open de basket Femin’Ain (basketball), Trail du Grand Colombier (running), Grand Colombier Cycling Days (road closed to tackle the climb on the second Saturday of the month from June to September)

Specialities: Le salé (walnut and onion tart), diots au Marc du Bugey (Savoy sausages), Bugey truffles, cheese (Tome de Belley, Pavé d’Affinois), Bugey wines (AOC Domaine de Bel-Air). Tradition for tanning in Belley

Sustainable development: Véloroute ViaRhôna, electric bike hire, Camino de Santiago de Compostela, GR9 long-distance walking route

Distinction: Bugey Sud, cercle de qualités

Slogan: Culoz, the Grand Colombier

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