Friday, July 21st – Stage 19 222.5KM
Mountains Passes and Hills:
Km 26.0 – Col Lebraut 4.7 kilometre-long climb at 6% – category 3
Km 43.0 – Côte de Bréziers 2.3 kilometre-long climb at 5.8% – category 3
Km 177.5 – Col du Pointu 5.8 kilometre-long climb at 4.1% – category 3
Embrun / Salon-de-Provence
Beware not to be gently rocked by the relaxed atmosphere of the villages of Provence, the lavender fields and the olive trees of Lubéron. It’ll be the longest stage of the Tour and will start by a hilly portion, tough on the legs. It’ll be a final opportunity for escapees to witness glory. Just as long as they manage to stay clear of the hungry pack all the way to the finish line.
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.
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.
Sub-prefectures: Carpentras, Apt
Suface: 3567 km2
Specialties: AOC wines, natural sweet wines: Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise, Rasteau near Vaison – Côtes du Rhône: including 4 Grand Crus: Châteauneuf du Pope, Gigondas, Vacqueras and Beaumes de Venise, Côtes du Luberon – Olive oil – goat cheese: Banon, Picodon (AOC in Valréas) – Muscat du Ventoux (black grape) – lavender in Sault. Protected Geographical Identification (IGP): Ventoux pork, Cavaillon melon, lamb of Sault, Monts de Venasque cherry, Comtat cherry, honey.
Sports: 81 cycling clubs (cycling, cyclotourism, mountain biking, BMX), hiking (3000 km of marked trails), climbing (St Léger du Ventoux, Venasque, Buoux), horse riding (6,000 club members). Competitions: Tour de France, Criterium du Dauphiné, International women’s cycling Tour de l’Ardèche .
Festivals: Avignon festival In and Off (since 1947), Chorégies d’Orange (the oldest French festival created in 1869), Vaison Danses, Choralies of Vaison (international festival of choral singing), Nuits de l’Enclave festival In Grillon, Richerenches, Valréas and Visan (theatre, painting, sculpture), Soirs d’été (Summer Evenings) in Gordes, Jazz Tremplin in Avignon, Lacoste Festival (theatre and opera), Les Musicales du Luberon.
Economy: food industry “Vaucluse, the garden of France”, tourism, building and public works, crafts, trade.