The contingent of German top sprinters from Giant-Shimano is no longer limited to the fame of Marcel Kittel and John Degenkolb as Nikias Arndt, 22, claimed his first victory at World Tour level as he outsprinted Belgium's Kris Boeckmans of Lotto-Belisol and ruined the hopes of Arnaud Démare in a tight finale in Le Teil. Already a stage winner at the inaugural Arctic Race of Norway in Stokmarknes, Arndt stepped up on the occasion of a long and hot day of racing at the end of which Chris Froome kept the lead in the Dauphiné without any trouble.
FROOME Christopher (SKY) © ASO/G.Demouveaux
Situated between Saint-Étienne and Clermont-Ferrand, the Pays d'Ambert is located in an exceptional setting in the heart of the Livradois-Forez Regional Natural Park. With nearly 10,000 inhabitants spread over seven communes, the Pays d'Ambert is steeped in tradition, featuring paper mills, cheese (the Fourme d'Ambert), a round town hall which is unique in Europe, and renowned writers and artists such as Alexandre Vialatte, Henri Pourrat, Jules Romains, and Emmanuel Chabrier, who have all contributed to its reputation. Open air sports and activities take pride of place here, with more than 400km of marked trails meandering across the undulating landscape and which can be enjoyed on foot, mountain bike or horse in the summer and in snow shoes or cross country skis in winter. Dare devils can even enjoy the views from the sky! Local residents have managed to combine cutting edge technology with tradition to develop the area's braiding industry and to continue producing rosary beads, giving a much-needed boost to the area's economy, which was previously largely based on the paper industry.
Situated in the Rhone Valley, and the gateway to Southern Ardèche, Le Teil is a commune with 8,400 inhabitants. Thanks to its geographical position at the crossroads between roads leading south to Vivarais, Les Cévennes and Auvergne, Le Teil has always been strategically placed as a stopping off point for tourists. The bustling town features a wide range of shops and services, a diverse economic fabric, cultural and sporting facilities, rich and varied community life and numerous events organised throughout the year. The commune is surrounded by four charming villages: Alba-la-Romaine, Aubignas, Saint-Thomé and Valvignères. Visitors enjoy the area for its traditional charm, diversity and quality of life: a rich cultural heritage (an archaeological site, MuséAl, a 12th century church, etc.) and gastronomic traditions (wine, cooked meat, cheese, local produce, etc.) It offers a wide range of sporting and leisure activities: walks and mountain bike trails, village fairs, tasting sessions and visits to the local wine cellars, etc.
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