Rodez

Rodez

It was already on the occasion of a stage starting in Blagnac and designed on a similar course that Pierre-Henri Menthéour had clinched the only stage victory on the Tour of his career in 1984. Since then, the final straight during the 2015 edition was staged just a few hundred metres away from the famous gothic cathedral. Outsprinting Peter Sagan in a two-man sprint, Greg Van Avermaet had ended his long run of second positions there.

Cathédrale Notre-Dame, Rodez © D. Viet CRT Midi-Pyrénées

3 previous stages
Prefecture of Aveyron (12)

Population: 26,100 (58,500 for the 8 communes of Rodez Agglomeration)

Specialities: aligot (mashed potato with cheese), tripous (guts), beef meat of Aubrac, cheese (Laguiole, roquefort, vieux Rodez), wines of Marcillac

Celebrities: Abbot Carnus (physician), Camille Douls (Sahara explorer), Pierre Soulages (painter), Marshall Ferdinand Foch, Jean Moulin (prefect of Aveyron), Louis Bouloumié (founder of the Vittel thermal baths), Cyril Lignac (chef), Zinedine Zidane (shareholder of Football Rodez-Aveyron), Ginette Mazel (basket-ball), Bertrand Delanoë (former Paris mayor), Alexandre Geniez (cycling)

Sport: Stade Rodez Aveyron (rugby, third division), ROC Handball Aveyron (National 1), Stade Rodez Aveyron Basket (National 2), Rodez Aveyron Football (women's first division, men's fourth division). Events: Rouergue rally, Combelles international show-jumping, Octogonale gran fondo.

Economy: 3,800 companies providing 35,000 jobs – food industry, mechanical industry, digital and publishing (RAGT, Bosch, RM Ingénierie, Sopra Group), higher education, tourism.

Heritage: Notre-Dame cathedral (13th to 16th centuries), bishop palace, château of Onet, Comencau bridge, Soulages museum, Fenaille museum, Denys-Puech museum.

Festivals: Estivada (Occitan music festival), International Folk Festival of Rouergue, Rire Onet (humour)

Sustainable development: 14 bus lines, 46 km of low energy traffic lanes.

Labels: Grand site Midi-Pyrénées, town of arts and history, 3 flowers

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Rodez and cycling

For Greg Van Avermaet, one of the strongest finishers of his generation, everything started clicking into place in 2015 in Rodez when his first stage victory in the Tour de France put an end to his reputation as a collector of podium places. That day, the Belgian outwitted Peter Sagan in one of their many clashes, which became one of the highlights of modern cycling. Since this victory, Van Avermaet held the yellow jersey for three days, became Olympic champion, retained his Het Nieuwsblad crown and conquered his first Paris-Roubaix in April.

In 1984, a similar stage saw the only Tour victory by the dearly missed Pierre-Henri Mentheour. That year, the affable Breton was part of the invincible Renault-Gitane team led by Cyrille Guimard. The day before Mentheour's stage win, his team-mate Pascal Poisson had raised his arms in Blagnac. Pascal Jules had also won a stage while the Renault logically dominated the team time trial. As for the yellow jersey, it was on the back of their team-mate Vincent Barteau, who would only hand it over to his leader Laurent Fignon, the final overall winner.

Tour de France 2015, Rodez, Victoire de Greg Van Avermaet face à Peter Sagan © Presse Sports / Stéphane ManteyTour de France 1984, Rodez – Domaine du Rouret : Yvon Madiot, Vincent Barteau, Greg Lemond, Bernard Hinault, Madiot, Barteau Et Lemond Surveillent Hinault © Presse Sports / Landrain

3 previous stages
Prefecture of Aveyron (12)

Population: 26,100 (58,500 for the 8 communes of Rodez Agglomeration)

Specialities: aligot (mashed potato with cheese), tripous (guts), beef meat of Aubrac, cheese (Laguiole, roquefort, vieux Rodez), wines of Marcillac

Celebrities: Abbot Carnus (physician), Camille Douls (Sahara explorer), Pierre Soulages (painter), Marshall Ferdinand Foch, Jean Moulin (prefect of Aveyron), Louis Bouloumié (founder of the Vittel thermal baths), Cyril Lignac (chef), Zinedine Zidane (shareholder of Football Rodez-Aveyron), Ginette Mazel (basket-ball), Bertrand Delanoë (former Paris mayor), Alexandre Geniez (cycling)

Sport: Stade Rodez Aveyron (rugby, third division), ROC Handball Aveyron (National 1), Stade Rodez Aveyron Basket (National 2), Rodez Aveyron Football (women's first division, men's fourth division). Events: Rouergue rally, Combelles international show-jumping, Octogonale gran fondo.

Economy: 3,800 companies providing 35,000 jobs – food industry, mechanical industry, digital and publishing (RAGT, Bosch, RM Ingénierie, Sopra Group), higher education, tourism.

Heritage: Notre-Dame cathedral (13th to 16th centuries), bishop palace, château of Onet, Comencau bridge, Soulages museum, Fenaille museum, Denys-Puech museum.

Festivals: Estivada (Occitan music festival), International Folk Festival of Rouergue, Rire Onet (humour)

Sustainable development: 14 bus lines, 46 km of low energy traffic lanes.

Labels: Grand site Midi-Pyrénées, town of arts and history, 3 flowers

Web sites

Sights

Soulages Museum
Inaugurated in 2014, the Soulages museum is located on the edge of the Jardin du Foirail in the heart of the painter's hometown. Pierre Soulages made the largest ever donation by a living artist to support its establishment. Soulages, who laid the foundation stone in 2010, has left the museum more than 500 works. Intended to showcase the museum within its environment, the building has been designed to highlight the story of Soulages' life together with the different facets of his works: paintings on paper and canvas, printed works and stained glass. It was the proximity of the museum to Conques, where he produced the windows for the abbey church, which convinced Soulages. The 1700m2 permanent exhibition is designed to illustrate the variety in the artist's work. Light and shadowy passages intermingle in the area where his works on paper and famous Brous de Noix abstracts are displayed, while there's more light in the area displaying his paintings and the models used when working on the windows for Conques. In keeping with the wishes of Pierre Soulages, a temporary exhibition room of 500m2 is dedicated to other contemporary artists. “I've never liked monographic museums,” said the painter, who was born in 1919. The house where he was born will host artists in residence. Since its opening, the museum has been a huge success, attracting more than 200,000 people in seven months.

Fenaille Museum
A pioneer of the oil industry and a fine arts collector, Maurice Fenaille donated his Hotel de Jouery house in 1929 to host the museum of archaeology and history of Rodez. The museum owes its international reputation to its exceptional collection of menhirs.

Notre-Dame Cathedral
This is the main religious building in the department. Burned and damaged over the centuries, Rodez's cathedral is a remarkable mix of architectural styles covering the 13th to the 17th centuries: Gothic, Renaissance and elements of Baroque decoration inside. It has imposing dimensions; the central nave, which is quite narrow, is 102 metres long and has a particularly impressive elevation (30 metres). The building has a superb steeple, with beautiful filigrees of pink sandstone that can be seen from afar. It rises to 87 metres to dominate the city and is illuminated from within at night.

Armagnac house
The townhouse known as Maison d'Armagnac is the most remarkable example of Renaissance civil architecture in Rodez by the decoration and numerous sculpted medallions of its façade. It bears witness to the economic vitality of the Rodez merchants at the time.

Fortified churches of Sainte-Radegonde and Inieres
On the outskirts of Rodez in the Middle-Ages, the two churches had to adapt their architecture to the reality of their time. The buildings have been enhanced with military elements similar to the ones found in fortresses.

Château of Onet
Shortly before the village of Onet, the castle was built in the 16th century, perhaps by the cathedral chapter of Rodez. A square building surrounded by towers, its destination looks more defensive than recreational and its architecture owes more to medieval times than to the Renaissance.   

Vue depuis le Jardin Public de Rodez, entrée du Musée Soulages © Antoby~commonswikiLa célèbre statue-menhir dite « la Dame de Saint-Sernin », chef-d'œuvre de l'art néolithique, découverte en 1888 à Saint-Sernin-sur-Rance en Aveyron, présentée au musée Fenaille de Rodez. © Erwan CorreRodez et la Cathédrale Notre-Dame © MeravillesRodez - Maison d'Armagnac à l'angle de la place de l'Olmet et de la rue d'Armagnac © MossotVue extérieure de l'église de Sainte-radegonde © Phi. GastreinVue extérieure du Château d'Onet-le-Château © Alecs.y

3 previous stages
Prefecture of Aveyron (12)

Population: 26,100 (58,500 for the 8 communes of Rodez Agglomeration)

Specialities: aligot (mashed potato with cheese), tripous (guts), beef meat of Aubrac, cheese (Laguiole, roquefort, vieux Rodez), wines of Marcillac

Celebrities: Abbot Carnus (physician), Camille Douls (Sahara explorer), Pierre Soulages (painter), Marshall Ferdinand Foch, Jean Moulin (prefect of Aveyron), Louis Bouloumié (founder of the Vittel thermal baths), Cyril Lignac (chef), Zinedine Zidane (shareholder of Football Rodez-Aveyron), Ginette Mazel (basket-ball), Bertrand Delanoë (former Paris mayor), Alexandre Geniez (cycling)

Sport: Stade Rodez Aveyron (rugby, third division), ROC Handball Aveyron (National 1), Stade Rodez Aveyron Basket (National 2), Rodez Aveyron Football (women's first division, men's fourth division). Events: Rouergue rally, Combelles international show-jumping, Octogonale gran fondo.

Economy: 3,800 companies providing 35,000 jobs – food industry, mechanical industry, digital and publishing (RAGT, Bosch, RM Ingénierie, Sopra Group), higher education, tourism.

Heritage: Notre-Dame cathedral (13th to 16th centuries), bishop palace, château of Onet, Comencau bridge, Soulages museum, Fenaille museum, Denys-Puech museum.

Festivals: Estivada (Occitan music festival), International Folk Festival of Rouergue, Rire Onet (humour)

Sustainable development: 14 bus lines, 46 km of low energy traffic lanes.

Labels: Grand site Midi-Pyrénées, town of arts and history, 3 flowers

Web sites

Official Timekeeper

Jersey wearers after the stage 21

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Sponsorship and Environment

Since it was founded, Amaury Sport Organisation has been involved in various sponsorship and philanthropy activities. It is the generosity of sport that can be found in a certain number of initiatives aiming to invest in the workings of the disciplines themselves (sponsorship of the French Federation of Cycling), in a humanitarian and social framework, (Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque, Actions Dakar, Un Techo Para Mi Pais) or in the environmental sphere (Madre De Dios, selective sorting, etc.). Read more

A.S.O. is committed to integrating environmental considerations into the organisation of its races: Limiting CO2 emissions; A quality waste management policy for the spectators but also for the organisers and the riders; The promotion of cycling as an alternative, environmentally-friendly means of transport. Read more

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