A guide to the Tour de France
A guide to Stage 10 of the Tour de France 2017, which is 178km from Périgueux to Bergerac. This stage takes place on Tuesday 11th July 2017, after a rest day. It passes the Lascaux cave, with its prehistoric cave paintings. This is a flat stage for the sprinters. Read about Stage 10 of the Tour de France 2017 here.
11th July 2017
There was beautiful scenery on Stage 10 in the Dordogne, but little action to keep cycling fans from mowing the grass or creosoting the shed. Kittel's sprint was well-timed, and he won easily. Nothing else to say.
|Climbs||Côte de Domme (Category 4)
Côte du Buisson-de-Cadouin (Category 4)
The official Tour de France stage profile for Stage 10:
Stage 10 takes place on Tuesday 11th July 2017.
The publicity caravan sets off from Périgueux at 11h10, and arrives at the finish in Bergerac at 15h39. The peloton starts at 13h10, and reaches the finish between 17h17 and 17h39.
Stage 10 starts in Périgueux, from Cours Tourny, going along rue Saint-Front, avenue Daumesnil, boulevard Georges-Saumande, to cross the river Isle on pont Saint-Georges, and head out of town towards Boulazac. The flag goes down and the racing starts on avenue Emile Zola. Périgueux Tourisme has some local information about Stage 10 in Périgueux.
Leaving Périgueux, Stage 10 heads south on the D6089 avenue Emile Zola. The riders go under the A89 autoroute, then continue east on the D6089 via Saint-Pierre-de-Chignac to a fork in the road at a place called Thenon. Here, the route is right, on the D67 to Montignac and the Lascaux cave.
From Montignac, the riders follow the river Vézère south via Thonac, Saint-Léon-sur-Vézère, Peyzac-le-Moustier, and Tursac, to les Eyzies-de-Tayac. At les Eyzies-de-Tayac, they turn to head east along the D47 to Sarlat-le-Canéda.
From Sarlat, the race goes south to Domme. The climb from the Dordogne river to Domme is Category 4, 3.5km at an average gradient of 3.3%.
(Domme is classified as one of the most beautiful villages in France. It is perched above the Dordogne, giving great views over the river. Amongst the attractions is the Grotte de Domme, a stalactite-filled cave).
From Beynac-et-Cazenac, Stage 10 follows the Dordogne west, downstream. If there's a headwind, it will limit opportunities for breakaway riders. The route is via Saint-Cyprien, the location of the day's intermediate sprint.
Profile of intermediate sprint on Stage 10, TDF 2017, at Saint-Cyprien, © ASO/Tour de France
From Saint-Cyprien, the riders continue to le Buisson-de-Cadouin, where the second and final classified climb starts - the Côte de Buisson-de-Cadouin, 2.1km at an average gradient of 5.6%.
Then it's on via Badefols-sur-Dordogne to the stunning riverside bastide town of Lalinde. When the riders reach Lalinde, there are around 25km left to race.
The race arrives in Bergerac from the east, passing through Creysse, on the D660. Sud Ouest has a map of the route to the finish.
There's a left turn onto the N21 to cross the Dordogne, then the route curves gradually round until the roundabout at the junction with the D19: here, it's right on the D19 avenue Paul Painlevé. At the end of the avenue, there's a sharp right turn onto boulevard Louis Pimont, which crosses back to the north bank of the river. There's another right turn on the other side of the river, taking the riders onto the D660 boulevard Charles Garraud. A left turn takes them into the park around the swimming pool (Piscine Picquecailloux), and a final sharp left brings them onto allée Lucien Videau and the finish line.
There are a lot of sharp turns on the run-in, including two just before the finish line; therefore, good positioning at the right time will be vital.
Stage 10 is a chance for the sprinters. I suggest that Marcel Kittel's Quick-Step Floors team will bring him to the final bend at the front of the bunch, and the big German will finish the job and win the stage.
Stage 11 of the Tour de France 2017 is 203.5km from Eymet to Pau.
Read about Stage 11, Tour de France 2017.
Périgueux is the capital of the Dordgne département. The name Périgueux comes from the Celtic tribes who lived here before the Roman invasion, the Petrocorii. The Gallo-Roman settlement here was called Vesunna.
Périgueux is on the river Isle (which translates as the river Island - a daft name for a river; it would be a good name for a shop, though, someone should do that). L'Isle is a tributary of the river Dordogne.
Sights in Périgueux include the remains of the Roman amphitheatre, and other Roman ruins including a temple and a Roman villa. The Cathedral is dedicated to Saint Front - built from 1120, and restored in the 1800s.
Périgueux is twinned with Amberg, Germany.
Montignac is a little town on the banks of the river Vézère, which has been occupied by man since Paleolithic times. The Romans had a settlement here, and in the Middle Ages, there was a fortress belonging to the counts of Périgord (destroyed 1825).
Lascaux is famous because of the number and quality of cave paintings.
It was discovered on 12th September 1940 by four boys who were looking for their dog, which had fallen down a hole that led into the cave. With a lamp, they looked in and saw some of the paintings on the wall of the gallery. They made a vow to each other to keep it secret, but they told their teacher. The teacher told Abbé Breuil, an expert on prehistory, and the Abbot baptized the cave 'the Sistine Chapel of the Périgord'.
In 1949, the cave was opened to the public, but the paintings soon suffered from two damaging effects:
In 1963, they closed the cave, and allowed just a few researchers to visit it.
Around 1973, they proposed to build a replica, and it was opened in 1983 (Lascaux 2). It's about 200m away from the original cave.
The IGN (Institut Géographique National, the map people) made a 3 dimensional survey of the cave and the paintings, and they used it to make a shell, reinforced in concrete, which was put in an old quarry. A team of painters, led by Monique Peytral, did the paintings, using the same sort of tools and materials the original painters used.
The cave is limestone. There were four galleries in the original cave, with 1,500 representations.
The paintings were created about 15,000BC, during the Magdelanian culture. At the time, the entrance to the cave was open to the air, but then the opening collapsed, and clay closed it off tightly. That's the reason for the excellent preservation of the art.
The animals depicted include aurochs (cattle), horses, reindeer, bison, ibexes, bears, and woolly rhinos.
There's a definite Lascaux style, with the animals given swollen stomachs and short legs. The artists used the wall contours to give relief to the subject matter.
Sarlat-le-Canéda was built in a hollow surrounded by wooded hills, and is a well-preserved market town, with narrow Medieval streets, and town houses which are a mixture of Gothic and Renaissance. It is sometimes called Sleeping Beauty, because after centuries of prosperity, it remained a backwater for 150 years, too deep in the countryside to be modernised or developed.
In 1962, it was chosen for a new national restoration project.
Sarlat grew up around a Benedictine Abbey founded in the 800s. The Abbots of the Abbey ruled the town until 1299, when the citizens of the town revolted against their corruption. The Abbot was made to sign the Book of Peace, which gave the townspeople the right to administer the town through consuls. Thereafter, the town prospered.
Houses in Sarlat are built of golden-hued limestone, and have steep pitched rooves. Many of them have different floors added at different times (but curiously, the upper floors were almost always built later than the lower ones). The architecture is shown to good effect at night, when it is illuminated by natural gas lamps (plus some LED lights).
La Roque-Gageac is a village on the bank of the Dordogne river, under a river cliff. It is one of the most beautiful villages in France.
The village flourished in the Middle Ages, when it was home to fishermen and pilots of the gabares (boats used to transport goods).
In 1957, a large stone block fell down from the cliff, and destroyed six houses, killing three people.
Beynac-et-Cazenac is another of the most beautiful villages in France. It is perched above the river Dordogne.
The first mention of Beynac is in 1115. The château belonging to the Beynac family was seized by Simon de Montfort during the Albigensian Crusades, but returned to the family by King Philippe Auguste a few years later.
Lalinde was the first English bastide town, built in 1261. Bastides were fortified new towns, with a grid pattern of streets, and a town wall for protection.
There have been a couple of notable tragic events in Lalinde's history. Towards the end of World War II, on 21st June 1944, the Nazis killed many of the town's young men as retribution against Resistance activities, in the Mouleydier massacre.
On 11th July 1964, during the Tour de France, a tanker driven by a gendarme ploughed into spectators at a narrow bridge, killing nine people.
Bergerac is a town on the Dordogne river, and in the Dordogne département. It's known for its Bergerac wines, which fall within the Bordeaux region, and for tobacco-growing.
There are two statues of Cyrano de Bergerac in the town. He was the subject of a play, Cyrano de Bergerac, by Edmond Rostand. In the play, Cyrano de Bergerac is a nobleman serving as a soldier in the French army. He is a gifted duelist, poet, and musician, but his large nose makes him doubt himself. He loves Roxane, but she falls for another.
The play is fiction, but it follows the broad outlines of the life of a real Cyrano de Bergerac (who actually never lived in Bergerac).
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