Briton Stephen Cummings of the MTN-Qhubeka team won the 14th stage of the Tour de France, a 178.5-km ride from Rodez on Saturday. More
|Joaquin RODRIGUEZ OLIVER||KAT||52|
|AG2R LA MONDIALE||ALM||13:18:45|
Twice a stage town – 26,000 inhabitants
Other than painter Pierre Soulages, Rodez has been the birth place of quite a few artists. Indeed, lead singer Gaëtan Roussel, founder of band Louise Attaque, first started performing there while star chef Cyril Lignac started his career by discovering the flavours of what Aveyron has to offer before mastering the entire French cuisine. The former manager of the French national rugby team and State Secretary in charge of Sports, Bernard Laporte is also one of the children of Rodez. So is talented rider, Alexandre Geniez, winner of a stage on the 2013 Vuelta.
3 times a stage town – 12,000 inhabitants
The tough climb up the Côte de la Croix Neuve seems to have become a classic on the Tour. In recent history and as a coincidence, it returns on the course every 10 or 5 years. Perfect terrain for punchers, Laurent Jalabert was the first to strike, back in 1995. Ten years later, the pack came back to the Gévaudan area, led by inspired escapee Marcos Serrano. Then, in 2010, Joaquim Rodriguez, one of the finest attackers and Ardennes classics specialists flew to victory just beside the airfield that had been used for the final scene of another classic, Gerard Oury's La Grande Vadrouille.