Calendar of events in Ramatuelle - Pampelone - St. Tropez - Cote d'Azur


 

Below please find a calendar of great events at the Cote d'Azur for 2011

  
Event  Tour de France 2011
Date from   02-07-2011
Date to  24-07-2011
Location  Start Vendee

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Tour de France 2011, departure in Vendée 02/07/2011-24/07/2011

One word. If I had to use just one word to define the links that unite the Vendée and the Tour, without hesitation I would say: passion!

A shared passion for an event that is a century old, a wonderful popular celebration and for an authentic and innovative land, a place of liberty and challenges, where traditions and the future live in harmony.

So, after 1976, 1993, 1999 and 2005, the Tour de France will again be coming to the Vendée in 2011. At the turn of the century, each Tour de France whose Grand Start took place in the Vendée crowned dominant champions: firstly Miguel Indurain with his show of power on the Côte du Fossé in the prologue of the 80th edition, a foretaste of his performance throughout the event of which we still have vivid memories; and secondly Lance Armstrong, for his first triumph soon after recovering from cancer, then for his last triumph during a farewell tour, which we now know was not a definitive conclusion to his career.

Of all the many images of the Tour that I can remember, the pack crossing the Passage du Gois in 1999 is definitely one of the most exciting, in fact probably the finest that I have ever seen on a flat stage. Since the tide allows us, we will be back on this inimitable road in July 2011, during the initial parade, before the official starting ceremony, several minutes before the actual start of the race.

We have designed this first stage to be a "linear" one, in a similar way to the successful experience enjoyed in Brittany in 2008. It will link the Ocean with the Mont des Alouettes at the heart of the Vendée, which is an ideal summit for a finish where punchers and sprinters will battle for the first Yellow Jersey of the 98th Tour de France.

The following day, a team time-trial - only 23 kilometres long, no more, no less to keep the race fluid - will force the favourites to show their mettle for the first time, then the race will move to Olonne-sur-Mer, from where we will head to other regions and new adventures.

But we already know that even before the first kilometre, the presentation of the riders at Le Puy du Fou will have dazzled the crowds, just like Cinéscénie, which recounts the history of the Vendée, fascinates each summer hundreds of thousands of visitors.

Christian PRUDHOMME
Director of Tour de France
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