After the very summer 2020 edition, the “Route d’Occitanie- la Dépêche du Midi” returns to the month of June. The organizers detailed the menu yesterday at the Hôtel de Région in Toulouse.
The Cathar knights always cry softly but on this second Sunday in June, there will be no question of the highway. For once, the queen stage which should lead the “Occitans” to Mourtis the day before, beyond Tourmalet and a few nuggets from Pyrenean Piedmont (11% for example on the court but on Cap de la Coste) will not be able to -be not delivered the whole truth. The race, whose prize list has risen spectacularly (Quintana and Valverde twice, Contador, Bernal winners…) in recent years could well wait for the thousand-year-old walls of Peyrepertuse before choosing the new chosen one.
During the Sunday program, you will have to climb Montsegur cold, then the Col du Linas, the Grau-de-Maury under Quéribus before starting the final climb to the castle of Peyrepertuse.
The decor of the major sites
Far from the Tarn that the runners will visit on the first day with the arrival in Lacaune, a modern and colorful visit in the footsteps of the “Albigensians” and their crusade.
The visit to the “great sites” of Occitanie, so dear to Carole Delga, the president of the region and to Pierre Caubin, the president of the event, will continue this year with the citadels of vertigo (but also the Sources du Canal du Midi, the bastide town of Villefranche-de-Rouergue, Najac, Auch, the Pic du Midi, Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges…), an exceptional setting for this meeting created in 1977 by the Castresian Francis Auriac.
“2020, the year of upheaval, the start of resilience!” The introduction of Pierre Caubin’s speech yesterday in Toulouse, followed by words that we did not even know when the world champion Alejandro Valverde defeated the line of Cazouls-lès-Béziers twenty-four months ago … “We organized the first French sporting event after the first wave. It was not an easy task, but what a success and what a plateau! “
At the end of the third “blade” and aware of a still fragile situation, the Commingeois leader insisted on the conditions to be respected imperatively next month.
“No concession on barrier gestures”
“The health bubble around the teams and the lack of contact between the runners and the public will still be relevant this year, there will be no concession on barrier gestures and we will require a test for each accredited …” price to pay, this time again for maintaining a meeting that has become unavoidable. After another year of work, most of their missions accomplished, the Caubin family and all the volunteers are now waiting for these four days of passion and… reward. “Masked but with a smile!”
Privileged partner of the event, “La Dépêche du Midi” and the entire Group, will be at the rendezvous between Minervois and Corbières. Éric Laffont-Baylet yesterday greeted “the investment of everyone during the mobilization on the 2020 edition, so special” and on the importance of the Road which is the link between our different titles … “. the following !
Ineos, Astana, Ef, Movistar
140 runners (20 teams of 7) including eight World Tour teams will be at the start. With Cofidis, Groupama-FDJ and AG2R Citroën, the three Frenchwomen, Ineos (Pavel Sivakov, 2nd in 2020 takes the start of the Giro on Saturday, he may be in Cazouls), Trek Segafredo, Education First Nippo (with the audoise revelation Simon Carr), Astana Premier Tech and the faithful of Movistar confirmed their commitment. B & B, Burgos, Rural Box, Delko, Kern, Euskaltel, Arkéa-Samsic, Total Direct Energy (Pro), Bike Aid, St Michel-Auber, Roubaix (Conti) and the French national selection complete the field.