The towns / A sporting view
One of Haute-Provence's real treasures, Sisteron will be in the limelight once again when it plays host to the finish of the Critérium du Dauphiné. Located between the Alps and Southern France, between the regions of Dauphiné and Provence, the birthplace of poet Paul Arène is an attractive town boasting 300 days of sunshine per year. It is also an indulgent place with regional produce, including tender lamb and sweet apples, which is held in high esteem by gourmets. Well rooted in its rich history, symbolised by its monumental citadel with a keep dating from the 12th century, it has also moved with the times. Sisteron and the surrounding area, the gateway to Provence, are crossed by the River Durance, whipped up by the mistral and lit up by the bright light of Haut Pays Provençal. The region lies around the Durance and the valleys formed by its tributaries. The resulting variety of landscapes makes it an area with exceptional natural and architectural heritage.
Risoul 1850 is a winter and summer resort situated 35 kilometres from Europe's biggest artificial lake, the Serre-Ponçon Lake. The resort sits at the gates of both the Queyras Regional Nature Reserve and the Ecrins National Park. Nestled on a sunny plateau at the heart of an imposing larch forest, in winter it offers 185km of ski slopes in the Forêt Blanche area which extends between Risoul and Vars. As well as Risoul's exceptionally high-quality snow, it boasts record hours of sunshine with more than 300 days of sun per year! A proud holder of the “Famille Plus Montagne” label, the off-piste resort management is outstanding, offering a safe haven for free-riders. A stage town of the Critérium du Dauphiné and the Tour de l'Avenir in 2010, the town has well-established sporting roots. In particular, it organises the Duathlon des Neiges, the Risoul Dévale (25km of descent combining skiing, mountain biking and canoe-rafting), and the famous Risoul-Queyras cyclosportive race. It retains a rich agricultural heritage, particularly through cultivation of the Risoul apple, whose long shelf-life now means it is exported to Africa.
Jersey wearers after the stage 8
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