The towns / A sporting view
The town of Pont-de-Claix is situated to the south of Grenoble at the crossroads between the Alps and the Mediterranean. When a papermaker set up his business on the banks of the impetuous River Drac at the end of the 19th century, the town didn’t exist. He went on to found it and became its first mayor in 1873. The town is bordered to the east and west by natural sites and wooded areas. Towards the south a green belt should extend the first public garden, created in the 1930s, out onto a natural headland. The long avenue which runs eight straight kilometres from Grenoble to Pont-de-Claix is said to be the longest in Europe. The product itself of industry, Pont-de-Claix is today home to some 40 industries including the cornerstone of south Grenoble's chemical industry (principally Vencorex) and Becton-Dickinson's biggest French plant, which employs more than 1,600 employees.
Situated against the green backdrop of the Hautes-Alpes, the mountain resort of Superdévoluy (altitude 1,500-2,510m) forms part of the Massif du Dévoluy and falls within the new Commune of Dévoluy, created on 1 January 2013. Its most famous attraction is undoubtedly skiing, with 100km of slopes, but it is also renowned for its natural beauty with the neighbouring Pic de Bure (2,709m) and the Obiou (2,790m). The town’s cultural heritage is also well-established with historical architecture including the symbolic 11th century Mère-Eglise which has been a listed building since 1927 and is the oldest chapel in the department. All year round, several sporting events and festivities take place. This vast and varied countryside holds something for everyone: walkers, climbers, mountain bikers, potholers, sun-worshippers and, of course, cyclists who can pedal up to the summit of the Col de Noyer at 1,664m. An ideal destination to get your fill of Vitamin D!
Jersey wearers after the stage 8
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