The stage in pictures
The towns / A sporting view
A finalist of the Challenge l'Équipe in 2009, Brioude was crowned the most sporting town in the Massif Central in 2010. The quality and the variety of its facilities as well as the number of sports clubs boasted by the town (forty or so, with a total of 2,500 members, i.e. 35% of its inhabitants), contributed to this outcome. Bordered by the River Allier and surrounded by medium mountains, Brioude is located in a naturally preserved and varied environment, perfect for outdoor sports. This exceptional geographical situation has allowed the town to regularly play host to large-scale events. Brioude is the enduro capital in Europe and has organised 15 French Championships, 4 European Championships and even a World Championship. The town has also welcomed many cycling events. After the Tour de l'Avenir in 2007, the Tour de France in 2008 with the start of the 7th stage which linked the town to Aurillac, it will be the turn of the peloton of Paris-Nice to take over the town's streets for a new cycling celebration.
At the confluence of the Rhône and the Galaure, 30km from Valence and 70km from Lyon, Saint-Vallier is a modern, forward-looking town which is steeped in history.
With 4,500 inhabitants, the county town of a canton of 30,000 inhabitants and of a network of local authorities with 42,000 inhabitants is home to high-tech industries in the energy, aviation and ceramics sectors.
A centre for education (primary and secondary schools), sport (the largest sports complex in Drôme, Pro B-level basketball club, cycle paths, multi-purpose trails and a waterpark), culture (an exhibition hall, a community centre, a cinema and a multimedia library), and for business (the redevelopment of town centre is underway, and there is a project for a large retail park south of the town), Saint-Vallier is well-known for its quality of life and the wealth of community-based activities. A pioneer in the area of sustainable development, Saint-Vallier has been awarded the eco-town label. Having played host to the finish of the 1st stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné in 2012 and considering the sprint victory of Cadel Evans, Saint-Vallier is delighted to be welcoming the 4th stage of the 71st Paris-Nice.
Jersey wearers after the stage 7
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