The stage in pictures
Remise du prix Louis NUCERA a Christian LABORDE, pour son livre "Tour de France, nostalgie" © ASO/P.Perreve
The towns / A sporting view
In an ideal location at the heart of the Volcans d'Auvergne Regional Park and the Volvic-Source et Volcans region, set in an exceptional environment of greenery and forests, Châtel-Guyon offers the perfect balance between well-being, sport and nature. Offering a high quality of life, this town has also been awarded three flowers at the national Town in Bloom competition. Châtel-Guyon is a quaint tourist spot and spa town with magnificent architecture. Art-Nouveau villas and grand hotels line the streets of the resort where Maupassant came three times for treatment, and where he found the inspiration for his novel Mont Oriol.
Reputed for the beneficial effects of its thermal springs, Châtel-Guyon has been offering treatment for problems with the digestive and urinary systems since April 2009 and its water has also been recognised as beneficial for rheumatic complaints. The town is also a haven for nature and sport-enthusiasts as well as thrill seekers with walks and mountain biking routes in the volcanoes, around the lakes and in the forests, orienteering courses and for daredevils, an aerial high ropes course for all the family.
Brioude has been nicknamed Auvergne's little Nice due to its sunny, dry microclimate, so it was natural for the town and its 7,000 inhabitants to play host to the Race to the Sun. Its ochre façades also give the town a southern atmosphere and emphasize its rich heritage and architectural treasures, legacies from its bountiful past. The town's principal attraction is the Saint-Julien Basilica, the largest Romanesque church in Auvergne. It stands alongside other listed buildings such as the Maison de Madrin and the Hôtel de la Dentelle in the renovated old town where several major events take place: the Biennale d'Aquarelle (a biennial watercolour exhibition with 8,000 visitors in 2011), Brioude en Lumière (a light show), the Trade Fair, etc. A high-quality, natural environment as well as a whole host of traditional festivals (fairs, markets, etc.) also contribute to the quality of life in Brioude. As a former stopover town between the north and the south of France, Brioude has kept its warm welcome and a truly commercial, economic and tourist drive.
Jersey wearers after the stage 7
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