Tour de France Stage 20 Preview

Saturday, July 22nd – Stage 20 22.5KM

Marseille / Marseille

Stage Profile:

Marseille / Marseille

For the very first time, Marseille will welcome an individual time-trial. A final opportunity to witness a change in the hierarchy and why not see the Yellow Jersey switch shoulders. Set entirely on urban roads with a passage on the Corniche and by the Vieux-Port (old harbour), the course will be rather flat except for a climb up to the Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde cathedral. The start and finish will take place inside the legendary Vélodrome football stadium, recently re-named Orange…

Bouches-du-Rhône (13)


Population: 1,975,896

Surface: 5,087 km2

Prefecture: Marseille

Sub-prefecture: Aix-en-Provence

Specialities: pastis (anise liquor), honey, bouillabaisse (fish soup), pieds-paquets (mutton), alouettes sans tête (beef rolls), pesto soup, aïoli (garlic sauce), anchoïade (anchovy sauce), tomme of Camargue (cheese), brousse du Rove (cheese), sardines, rosé, Marseille soap. Puyricard chocolates (calissons, macaroons, ice cream), Les Baux Valley oil cooperative (authentic 17th century oil mill), Roy René confectionery (makers of Aix Calissons), Château de Beaupré wine, vineyards of Côtes de Provence, Coteaux d’Aix en Provence (AOC),

Sport clubs: Olympique de Marseille (football), Rugby Provence (Aix-Marseille), Union Athlétique de Marseille (basket-ball), Cercle des nageurs de Marseille (swimming, Fabien Gilot, Camille Lacourt, Mehdy Metella, Florent Manaudou), Cercle Nautique et Touristique du Lacydon (CNTL).

Events: UEFA Euro 2016, Marseille-Provence 2017 European capital of sport, Mondial La Marseillaise à Pétanque (Marseille), Septembre en mer (September at sea, Marseille), Open 13 (tennis), Iron Man (triathlon), Massilia Cup.

Festivals: Aix en Provence Festival (lyrical art), Les rencontres d’Arles (photography), La Roque d’Anthéron international piano festival, Arles Feria Provence gastronomy festival, Fiesta des Suds (Marseille), Marseille dance festival, Mars Attack (electro, Marseille)

Economy: aeronautics (Eurocopter), microelectronics, metallurgy, shipbuilding, optics, chemicals, petrochemicals, Building, telecommunications, textile and fashion, food industry, logistics, transports, services, health, medicine, biotechnologies, research, universities, tourism (Marseille 1st cruise port in France, 92 museums, Calanques national park)

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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