The 2013 Tour de France will be the 100th time that the race has been held as well as being the first time the whole race has been held solely on French soil. With some of the most picturesque European cities on show during the race, we thought we’d take a look at the stages and see if we can discover some brand new places to add to the travel bucket list. Here are our Top 5 stage locations for the Tour de France 2013…
For the first time in the competitions’ history, the opening three stages of this years’ Tour de France will be held on the stunning island of Corsica. Although the roads may not be up to the usual standards, the scenery and sheer beauty of the island are sure to make up for it. Surrounded by warm Mediterranean seas and rugged mountain landscapes, Corsica’s east coast is a picturesque location for the start of the race.
Nice, French Riviera
The flat terrain of Nice is this years’ location for the team time trial stint. The 25km stage will be held against an idyllic coastal backdrop with crystal clear azure waters. No doubt the marinas will be filled with expensive yachts and hoards of the rich and famous as they battle to find the best spot to watch the riders go by. If you’re lucky enough to holiday in Nice this year either for the race or in your own time, be sure to visit the high class art galleries that line the streets of this Riviera gem.
Saint Malo, Brittany
This exciting walled city in the north of France hosts stage 10 of the 2013 race. Expect to see the sprinters return to the forefront here as there’s only one fourth-category climb in the stage. A win here could all but seal the yellow jersey as the sprint sections are all behind them. Visitors can enjoy the history and culture that Saint Malo offers, and as the route passes through St-Méen-Le-Grand, birthplace of three-time champion Louison Bobet, stage 10 pays a great tribute to previous winners.
As the capital of the beautiful Rhone-Alpes region, it’s no surprise the stage 14 of the race is one for the climbers. Lyons’ rolling hills will give riders who have come up with little so far a chance to get a couple of riders in the break and push ahead. Anyone staying in Lyon can make the most of the city’s abundance of Michelin Starred restaurants (the largest number outside of Paris) and with the largest display of Renaissance architecture in France, it’s the perfect place for a romantic weekend break after the race.
After three ‘brutal’ mountain stages previously, the riders will be more than happy to hit the flat streets of Paris for the final stage on July 21st. The first ever night time finish down the Champs-Elysees will no doubt be a sight to behold, so if you fancy booking your Paris stay through Superbreak make sure you do it soon! With world renowned landmarks and some of the most stunning architecture in France, the final stage will be a welcome sight for the teams.
Are you hoping to visit France for the Tour de France 2013? Which stage do you fancy going to?