Les Mureaux, the cradle of the European Ariane rocket, is a town in Yvelines home to 32,000 people. 37 km west of Paris, Les Mureaux originally stood as a village nestled along the Seine and the Vexin Valley. Back in 1285, these natural charms caught the eye of the queen of France, Marie of Brabant, who chose Les Mureaux as her holiday retreat. In 1843, the bustling village became home to a station on France's first railway line, connecting Paris to Rouen. Parisians have since been flocking here to spend their Sundays on the banks of the Seine. In 1894, the Cercle de la Voile de Paris set up shop in Les Mureaux at the initiative of the painter Gustave Caillebotte, soon to be joined by the Yacht Club de l'Île-de-France. In 1924, Les Mureaux hosted the sailing regatta events of the Paris Olympic Games. Before long, the first seaplanes began their trials on the waters of Les Mureaux, elevating it to a distinguished hub of aerospace adventure.  

In 1949, the writer Frédéric Dard made Les Mureaux his home. His famous character, Superintendent San Antonio, would catapult him to becoming the most widely read French-language author of the latter half of the 20th century. A few years later, Renault set up a factory in the neighbouring town of Flins-sur-Seine, while the first motorway in France (the A13 or Normandy motorway) provides convenient access to the city. Since 1973, the core stage of the Ariane rocket, the crown jewel of the European space industry, has been designed and assembled in Les Mureaux prior to crossing the Atlantic to the Guiana Space Centre.

A town that lives and breathes sport The Château de Becheville and its 15-hectare landscaped park will take centre stage for both the start and the finish of the inaugural stage of the 2024 Paris-Nice. It inspired the writer Stendhal, who stayed here in 1811, to craft some of the most exquisite passages of his novel The Red and the Black.

The peloton will also go several times through the Molière eco-district, which has undergone a sea change since the mid-2000s and stands out as the top eco-district in France. Brimming with numerous facilities and a vibrant community scene, Les Mureaux boasts a longstanding sporting tradition.

Cross-country running, boxing, sailing, track and field, cycling, football… In 1984, it hosted the first triathlon in France. A land of champions, Les Mureaux has emerged in recent years as a pivotal hub for the rise of breakdancing. With its pristine Seine riverbanks and cutting-edge enterprises, Les Mureaux epitomises a blend of nature and innovation. Proud of its history and heritage, Les Mureaux reaches for the stars with its feet planted on the ground.