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Tour de France

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Author elsslots
#1 | Posted: 4 Jul 2022 12:01 
Colvin today suggested adding a "Tour de France" connection, where the cyclists have crossed core zones of WHS in one of the stages.
He was obviously inspired by the Danish start of the Tour in 2022, which brought them to Christiansfeld for example.

We have a few to start the connection, but obviously there are many more, in France especially.
If you have looked into this topic before and have done some research that you can share, please post it here or e-mail it to me (that saves us the work of going through each year since the start of the Tour de France - which dates back to 1903).

Author Colvin
#2 | Posted: 4 Jul 2022 16:04 | Edited by: Colvin 
I sent some updates to the "Tour de France" connection, since upon further research, I was incorrect in mentioning that the final stage always goes through the core zone of Versailles -- there are some years it approaches Paris from a different direction (2020-2022 are do go through the Versailles core zone, though). However, the last stage of the tour traditionally goes through the core zone of Paris, Banks of the Seine, en route to the finish line on the Champs-Élysées.

Here's another update from the 2013 Tour de France Grand Depart:
Gulf of Porto: Tour de France 2013, Stage 3
(Source 1; Source 2)

Author jonathanfr
#3 | Posted: 4 Jul 2022 17:26 
Chaîne des Puys

Puy de Dôme

Author paul
#4 | Posted: 5 Jul 2022 03:50 
Christiansfeld was stage 3!

The start of stage 2 went within a few metres of the domkirke southern transept, literally along the core zone border line and as close as possible as you can be on a race bike. I think a definition that would include such close misses would be more in the spirit of the connection!

Author paul
#5 | Posted: 5 Jul 2022 06:08 
From the stage 4 finish you can see the belfry at Calais, but not from the start at Duinkerke

Other obvious possibilities this year are Lille, Longwy, Carcassonne, Briançon, Cahors, Rocamadour.

This is going to be a bad connection for me!

Author elsslots
#6 | Posted: 5 Jul 2022 07:36 
you can see

The connection requires that the stage actually travels through the core zone of the WHS. Many more are visible.

Author Solivagant
#7 | Posted: 5 Jul 2022 10:00 | Edited by: Solivagant 
The connection requires that the stage actually travels through the core zone of the WHS

I have had a quick look at France's 49 WHS (other countries can be left until later?)

I think that 10 are "impossible" because of no road etc - Amiens Cathedral, Bourges Cathedral, Chartres Cathedral, Cordouan Lighthouse, Decorated cave of Pont d'Arc, French Austral Lands and Seas, Lagoons of New Caledonia, Pitons of Reunion, Saint-Savin sur Gartempe, Taputapuatea

I have 9 as "very unlikely" for the same reason ...but?? .....Belfries, Cistercian Abbey of Fontenay, Fortified City of Carcassonne, Prehistoric Pile Dwellings, Primeval Beech Forests, Pyrénées - Mont Perdu, The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, Vézelay, Vézère Valley. Vezelay could just about be for a start, but I can find no record. Mont Perdu - there is a cycling web site which says the road has not been use. I am not sure it goes inside the core zone anyway.

I have 3 as "Probable" -Fontainebleau, Fortifications of Vauban, Versailles. All have roads which could be used which are inside the core zones

I have 22 as "almost certain" - but would need a lot of detailed work to establish Year and Stage etc ...which I don't wish to do!!
Canal du Midi (Over it?)
Causses and Cévennes
Chaîne des Puys
Great Spa Towns of Europe
Le Havre
Loire Valley
Nord-Pas de Calais Mining Basin
Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France

And 4 which are definite as they came up during my quick Search
Gulf of Porto - 2013 Ajaccio to Calvi
Mont-Saint-Michel - 2016 Mont St Michel - Utah Beach
Paris, Banks of the Seine - last stage every year
Pont du Gard - Stage 17 2019 (Presumably went under it?)
Royal Saltworks of Arc-et-Senans - 2012 Stage 9 Time Trial Arc et Senans to Besancon

The last one shows a frequent problem for many of the "probables" - one needs a map of the "exact" route. Arc et Senans has roads inside the core zone which could easily have been used for the start of a TT...but were they? Similarly Fontainebleau has a road inside the core zone etc etc.

Does anyone have this book and are its maps good enough??

Author elsslots
#8 | Posted: 5 Jul 2022 10:13 | Edited by: elsslots 
"probables" - one needs a map of the "exact" route

This is an issue indeed. Colvin and I corresponded a bit about Jelling - the route was announced as going through the core zone, but I watched it on TV and it clearly wasn't. Eventually, it turned out they had taken one street more to the left:

I have 22 as "almost certain" - but would need a lot of detailed work to establish Year and Stage etc

Thanks for the work! I can match them with years/stages via some Google searches.

Author paul
#9 | Posted: 5 Jul 2022 10:17 
I'm on a racing or mountain bike for more than 1000km every month - and the tour is on the wall screen at my office at this very moment. Cycling is more of an obsession than WHS!

If we could define this connection to include "Sites with components visible from the route of tour de France" then all these can be included this year. This would include monuments form cultural sites that would not be feasible to cycle through

Lille (Belfries) - Route goes past belfry from start stage 5
Longwy (Vauban) - Route is through core zone finish stage 6
Carcassonne (Carcassonne) - Walls visible just after start on stage 16
Cahors (Routes to Santiago)- Route goes past (but not over) pont valentré stage 19
Rocamadour (Routes to Santiago) - Basilique Saint-Sauveur visible on climb before finish 20

Author Solivagant
#10 | Posted: 5 Jul 2022 11:09 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Sites with components visible from the route of tour de France" then all these can be included this year. This would include monuments form cultural sites that would not be feasible to cycle through

It is Els's "call" but I would have thought that the "value" of such a "Connection " would lie in the "going though" aspect rather than the "can be seen from"....which itself will have definitional problems - could be "within 100 m of" I suppose
To trade "personal credibility" in matters T de F, my connection goes back to the late 1950's when I used to cycle around 9000 miles per annum (15000kms) in the days before Lycra - let alone Peleton, Zwift etc (!) and my first "overseas" tour was to cycle much of the Alpine T de F route - Galibier, Izoard, Allos etc etc

Author paul
#11 | Posted: 5 Jul 2022 11:43 
You are always more than credible solivagant.

But surely cycling 50cm along the wall of Roskilde catberderal is as valid a visit as any other. Espcially in lycra and at 45kmh

Anyway, i have to take off my own lycra

Author Solivagant
#12 | Posted: 5 Jul 2022 13:58 
Anyway, i have to take off my own lycra

The best we could do to go faster was to shave our legs!!

Author Colvin
#13 | Posted: 5 Jul 2022 21:37 | Edited by: Colvin 
Thanks for the overview of potential sites, Solivagant! When reviewing online sites, it looks like may be the best location to find recent stage routes (from 2012 on). There are also some routes that folks have uploaded onto . As I have time this week, I may start working backwards from 2021 to go through each stage in France to see if the Tour crossed any sites.

I understand where Paul is coming from, in that certain World Heritage Sites are meant to be backdrops for the race (which is why the race goes right by them), but the core zone is so tightly drawn that the race will not cross it. That would be the case for Roskilde Cathedral at the start of Stage 2 this year, but would also be true of sites like the Tower of London and Westminster on Stage 3 of the 2017 Tour. Still, I think it may be best to leave the criteria as it stands (that the Tour must cross the core zone of a site), since otherwise you may have the slippery slope Solivagant warns about.

Incidentally, it would not surprise me to find out there is a core zone somewhere along the Routes of Santiago in France that the Tour has crossed at some point.

Author Colvin
#14 | Posted: 5 Jul 2022 23:29 | Edited by: Colvin 
Just went back through the 2021 Tour de France. Here are some more links:

Loire Valley: Tour de France 2021, Stage 6
Fortifications of Vauban: Tour de France 2021, Stage 15 (Villefranche-de-Conflent and Mont-Louis)
Saint-Émilion: Tour de France 2021, Stage 20

I'd be really curious if anyone can track down the route of the 1987 Grand Depart in West Berlin; I'd love to see what that route was (and who knows, maybe it went by an inscribed housing estate!)

Author Solivagant
#15 | Posted: 6 Jul 2022 02:15 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Incidentally, it would not surprise me to find out there is a core zone somewhere along the Routes of Santiago in France that the Tour has crossed at some point.

I included it in my 22 "Almost Certain" list as there are a few parts of the "Chemin de Puy" which are along paved roads (numbers refer to official location on the Map ..followed by the inscribed distance)
72 Languedoc-Roussillon chemin n° 1 de Nasbinals à Saint-Chély-d'Aubrac 4,25 - If you can find a stage going through Nasbinals then it will have gone along this!
73 Midi-Pyrénées chemin n° 2 de Saint-Côme d'Olt à Estaing 7,62 - Estaing town???
74 Midi-Pyrénées chemin n° 3 de Montredon à Figeac 9,07 - Almost any route through Figeac would have gone along a part of this
75 Midi-Pyrénées chemin n° 4 de Faycelles à Cajarc 8,26 - If any tour went into Cajarc it will have gone along a part of this
76 Midi-Pyrénées chemin n° 5 de Bach à Cahors 9,6 - Part is in Cahors Town centre and bridge - any tour going into town centre will go along it?
77 Midi-Pyrénées chemin n° 6 de Lectoure à Condom 14,07 - Almost any Tour going into the town of Condom will go along this
78 Aquitaine chemin n°7 d'Aroue à Ostabat-Asme - Ostabat-Asme is off through roads so seems unlikely.

There are also some ancient "Ponts" among the inscribed locations -a few of these have been replaced by adjacent modern ones for traffic but others still seem to be used for traffic. I don't think there is a great chance of recent Tours going over these -but how far back are we going??
See (numbers relate to official location series)
33 Languedoc-Roussillon 33 Languedoc Rousisson Aniane - Saint-Jean-de-Fos pont du Diable - Replaced
39 Pyrénées Conques pont sur le Dourdou - Posssible but unlikely even if the Tour went through Conques -very much a side road
40 Midi-Pyrénées Espalion Pont-Vieux - Replaced
41 Midi-Pyrénées Estaing pont sur le Lot - Possible but not on the main road alongside the Lot river
42 Midi-Pyrénées Saint-Chély d'Aubrac pont dit « des pélerins » sur la Boralde - A footpath bridge only
52 Midi-Pyrénées Cahors pont Valentré - Photos show this with traffic barriers

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