Tour de France Stage 18 Preview

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Thursday, July 20th – Stage 18 179.5KM

Briançon / Izoard

Stage Profile:

Profile

Mountain Passes and Hills:

Km 60.0 – Côte des Demoiselles Coiffées 3.9 kilometre-long climb at 5.2% – category 3
Km 129.5 – Col de Vars (2 109 m) 9.3 kilometre-long climb at 7.5% – category 1
Km 179.5 – Col d’Izoard (2 360 m) 14.1 kilometre-long climb at 7.3% – category H

Mountain passes & hills 1

Intermediate Sprint:

Intermediate sprint

Last Km:  179.5KM

Briançon / Izoard

It’ll be the final battle between the climbers at the heart of one of the most spectacular and surprising sports theaters there is to offer. A real inspiration for attackers with temperament. From Barcelonnette to the Col de Vars, spirits and legs will be on fire. The last ten kilomeres before the summit of the Izoard are at an average gradient of 9%. The “rendez-vous” of the Casse Déserte will add solemnity to the hardness of percents.

Hautes-Alpes (05)

Prefecture: Gap

Sub-prefecture: Briancon

Population: 139,883

Surface: 5,549 km2

Specialties: Tourtons (beignets), Oreilles d’âne (grated lasagnes, cream and spinach), honeys (mountain, lavender, flowers…), wines (Tallard and Avance valley), fruits (apples and pears of Val de Durance), cheese…

Economy: tourism (more than 20 million nights per year), with 27 ski resorts and 25 Nordic sites. Agriculture (bovine and ovine breeding, dairy and cereal production, arboriculture).

Sport: Second French department in terms of club members per inhabitant, nearly 500 sprt clubs in 50 disciplines – alpine skiing, ice hockey (Briançon Red Devils, Rapaces in Gap), cycling and mountain biking, football, rugby, handball, basketball, athletics, swimming…

Culture and heritage: Les Ecrins National Park, Queyras nature park, Nature park of Baronnies Provençales. Two fortified sites listed as World Heritage: Briançon and Montdauphin.

Alpes-de-Haute-Provence (04)

Population: 161,588

Prefecture: Digne-les-Bains

Sub-prefectures: Barcelonnette, Castellane, Forcalquier

Surface: 6,925 km2

Specialties: lavender, lavender honey, Sisteron lamb, Banon cheese, Génépi from the Ubaye valley, truffles, olive oil, Pierrevert wines.

Sporting events: paragliding world championship (2016), Criterium du Dauphiné, Terres Noires Enduro-Raid, Pra-Loup tennis Open, international squash tournament, French Kayak Championship
Major tourist sites: Gorges du Verdon, Lake Allos, Mercantour National Park, Luberon and Verdon regional parks, Unesco Géopark of Haute Provence, spas of Gréoux and Digne les Bains, village of Moustiers Sainte-Marie, Sisteron citadel.

Festivals: Enfants du jazz festival in Barcelonnette, nights of the citadel in Sisteron, astro summer in Saint-Michel-l’Observatoire, musical hours of Simiane-la-Rotonde, prehistory days in Quinson, lavender fairs.

Economy: tourism; agriculture ; cosmetics, flavours and fragrances, agribusiness, renewable energies. Manufacture of cosmetics, perfumes (l’Occitane). Medicinal and aromatic plants, herbalism, cooking and liqueurs. Hydraulics (the Durance and Verdon dams provide 12pc of the French hydroelectric production), wood (forests cover nearly half of the department), and photovoltaic energy.

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