Tour de France arrival in Rodez – the beautiful city on a mountain…
Saturday July 15th
The tour de France cyclists will end their day in Rodez – Midi-Pyrénées – and commence the tour de France once again the next day in the village of Laissaic.
Why not visit the glorious Notre-Dame cathedral while stopping over at Rodez?
Rodez and cycling
It was already on the occasion of a stage starting in Blagnac and designed on a similar course that Pierre-Henri Menthéour had clinched the only stage victory on the Tour of his career in 1984. Since then, the final straight during the 2015 edition was staged just a few hundred metres away from the famous gothic cathedral. Outsprinting Peter Sagan in a two-man sprint, Greg Van Avermaet had ended his long run of second positions there.
For Greg Van Avermaet, one of the strongest finishers of his generation, everything started clicking into place in 2015 in Rodez when his first stage victory in the Tour de France put an end to his reputation as a collector of podium places. That day, the Belgian outwitted Peter Sagan in one of their many clashes, which became one of the highlights of modern cycling. Since this victory, Van Avermaet held the yellow jersey for three days, became Olympic champion, retained his Het Nieuwsblad crown and conquered his first Paris-Roubaix in April.
In 1984, a similar stage saw the only Tour victory by the dearly missed Pierre-Henri Mentheour. That year, the affable Breton was part of the invincible Renault-Gitane team led by Cyrille Guimard. The day before Mentheour’s stage win, his team-mate Pascal Poisson had raised his arms in Blagnac. Pascal Jules had also won a stage while the Renault logically dominated the team time trial. As for the yellow jersey, it was on the back of their team-mate Vincent Barteau, who would only hand it over to his leader Laurent Fignon, the final overall winner.
A BRIEF HISTORY LESSON ON RODEZ – THE FRENCH CAPITAL OF “ROUERGUE” HOSPITALITY
Population: 26,100 (58,500 for the 8 communes of Rodez Agglomeration)
Specialities: aligot (mashed potato with cheese), tripous (guts), beef meat of Aubrac, cheese (Laguiole, roquefort, vieux Rodez), wines of Marcillac
Celebrities: Abbot Carnus (physician), Camille Douls (Sahara explorer), Pierre Soulages (painter), Marshall Ferdinand Foch, Jean Moulin (prefect of Aveyron), Louis Bouloumié (founder of the Vittel thermal baths), Cyril Lignac (chef), Zinedine Zidane (shareholder of Football Rodez-Aveyron), Ginette Mazel (basket-ball), Bertrand Delanoë (former Paris mayor), Alexandre Geniez (cycling)
Sport: Stade Rodez Aveyron (rugby, third division), ROC Handball Aveyron (National 1), Stade Rodez Aveyron Basket (National 2), Rodez Aveyron Football (women’s first division, men’s fourth division). Events: Rouergue rally, Combelles international show-jumping, Octogonale gran fondo.
Economy: 3,800 companies providing 35,000 jobs – food industry, mechanical industry, digital and publishing (RAGT, Bosch, RM Ingénierie, Sopra Group), higher education, tourism.
Heritage: Notre-Dame cathedral (13th to 16th centuries), bishop palace, château of Onet, Comencau bridge, Soulages museum, Fenaille museum, Denys-Puech museum.
Festivals: Estivada (Occitan music festival), International Folk Festival of Rouergue, Rire Onet (humour)
Labels: Grand site Midi-Pyrénées, town of arts and history, 3 flowers, The French capital of Rouergue hospitality.
PROXIMITY OF RODEZ FROM HOTEL BOULOC – 30 KM – 20 minutes