Tour de France 2010: Stage 20 preview
Date: Sunday, July 25 2010
From/to: Longjumeau to Paris Champs-Élysées
Start town: Longjumeau
Longjumeau is located less than 20 km away from Paris in the Essonne department. Two centuries ago, it was the last staging post before the capital. This part of its history marked the town which, along the sides of the N20 road, played host to many inns to accommodate the post-boys.
From this era, Longjumeau has maintained a tradition of trade and commerce to which the inhabitants are much attached. Like a last transition between the town and country, Longjumeau is surrounded by fields and crops, making it a breath of fresh air only a few kilometres outside Paris.
Along the banks of the Yvette River and its affluent the Rouillon River, the town is developing the principal of communal ecology and is endeavouring to promote its environmental heritage. Since 2009, the town boasts 20 municipal beehives, 10 of which can be found in a teaching orchard. The bees produce Longjumeau Honey which is offered as a gift to newly-weds and new-born babies. Longjumeau is also one of the first local authorities to have obtained the title of Fair Trade Town.
Finish: Paris, Champs Élysées
Paris loves cycling and is delighted to welcome to its unique setting, like every year for more than a century, the breath-taking sprint of the Tour de France's heroes. What better a sight is there than this Homeric battle of a finish that snakes for several kilometres through the streets of the French capital's centre and the exceptional avenue of the Champs-Elysées?
This carnival of sport that brings together Parisians and many tourists enables us to celebrate cycling in its full diversity. It brings to mind another popular and audacious great adventure, the Vélib bicycle service, which is now celebrating its third anniversary. It now accounts for 71 million journeys and exists in 30 of Paris' neighbouring municipalities.
Today, it is possible to use almost 600 km of cycling tracks. It is therefore with great pleasure that Paris offers its streets to bicycle-lovers and especially to the athletes of the Tour who delight us year upon year and who, from the Yellow Jersey winner to the wooden spoon holder in the final standings, all deserve to be lauded with the same praise.
Tour de France 2010: Cycling Weekly's coverage index