Stage town for the ﬁrst time - 8,600 inhabitants(Tricastins)
Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux is a charming village inthe Drôme Provençale, which nestles among vine-yards, trufﬂe oaks and ﬁelds of lavender, and man-ages to combine heritage, the land, authenticityand conviviality. Beneath it, the village’s former in-habitants have left behind a number of relics fromthe prehistoric age, from antiquity and the middleAges. The mediaeval cathedral, a remarkable ex-ample of Roman architecture, is emblematic of thetown, sitting majestically in the centre of the vil-lage. Inside the city walls, you will discover a hostof attractions: mansions, charming little squaresadorned with fountains and outdoor cafes. Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux is also a gastronomic delight,best known for its trufﬂes, providing 60 per cent ofFrance’s trufﬂes to the market, as well as its wine(AOC wines from Grignan-les-Adhémar) and itsmany great restaurants. The inﬂuence of the vil-lage also goes beyond its walls – it’s also known forits children’s book festival, its soul jazz festival, itsclassical music festival – Les Musicales en Tricastin– and a ﬁlm festival.
20 times stage town - 37,800 inhabitants(Gapençais)
Principal city of the Hautes-Alpes – a départementclose to the hearts of cyclists who dream of testingthemselves on the slopes of the mountain passesthere – Gap is on the famous ‘Route Napoléon’, andcapital of the Southern Alps, mixing the pleasuresof Provence with the pure Alpine air. It is best knowntoday for its beautiful scenery, with the town sur-rounded by hundreds of kilometres of hiking trailsand perfect mountain bike routes. Nearby, the Gap-Tallard aerodrome is the ideal base for fans of aerialsports, with the surrounding area recognised inter-nationally for its perfect air and wind conditions.The Céüse cliffs are also famous among climbersseeking the ultimate thrill. The golf course at Gap-Bayard offers stunning views of the 3,000-metre-high Vieux Chaillol, where fanatics of the little whiteball game can enjoy the pure mountain air. Whenthe Tour visited just last year, 1,000 locals climbedthe 2,000-metre-high Charance to arrange them-selves to create a giant version of the city’s logo forthe French TV cameras.
The town’s twelfth-century Roman cathedral at sunsetA giant human logo on the mountain
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Tuesday July 19
- 162.5 km
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