Following a 10.4-km individual time trial that gave an impression of his superiority, Chris Froome won his first real duel of the year against Alberto Contador as he outsprinted him atop the col de Béal in a spectacular and popular finale. A flawless defending champion has already put his mark on the 66th Dauphiné and spread interesting signals of his good shape one month ahead of the Tour de France.
FROOME Christopher (SKY) © ASO/G.Demouveaux
There are neither high mountains nor lakes which attract tourists in Tarare, nor mediaeval castles or wildlife parks. Tarare is not somewhere to visit - it's somewhere to live. Situated on the famous Route Nationale 7 between Lyon and Roanne, Tarare is the capital of the canton and has moved into a new era, focusing resolutely on the future. The opening of the A89 motorway now connects it to Lyon as well as to Clermont-Ferrand. The industrial wasteland at the entrance to the town has recently been upgraded symbolising the town's dynamism. At its heart, the traditional Ninkasi beer is brewed at one of the biggest sites in the Rhône-Alpes region. The town is also home to the Maison des Entreprises de l'Ouest Lyonnais and numerous other activities. Tarare also boasts many other renowned areas of expertise including textiles, floor coverings and foodstuffs. After the successful finish stage in 2013 and the sprint victory of Norway's Edvald Boasson Hagen, Tarare will be welcoming the Critérium du Dauphiné for the second year in a row. And this time it will be a start town!
In the heart of the Livradois-Forez Natural Park, the Pays d'Olliergues unfurls around the Dore Valley. The area sits on the “rising sun” side of Auvergne, between Thiers and Ambert, 50 minutes from Clermont-Ferrand. The Pays d'Olliergues covers six communes, with 3,000 inhabitants and a rich community life. At a very early stage in the area's history, agriculture was combined with industrial development and the use of hydraulic power. Today the area's economic fabric is extremely diverse, ranging from traditional crafts to cutting edge industries, with Sanofi in Vertolaye. The area has seen a significant rise in tourism, thanks to outdoor activities (hiking, skiing, mountain biking) while areas of expertise are also to the fore (master craftsmen in Olliergues, Marat, the Musée des Métiers and the Gare de l'Utopie). The Col du Béal in the Hautes Chaumes is a natural gem and visitors to the Observatory can see how mankind, animals and plants have adapted to survive in this exceptional environment.
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