Stage 13 Tour de France 2024

Stage 12 | Stage 13 | Stage 14

Chateau de Pau
Château de Pau, by Ineremhat, Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

Stage 13 of the Tour de France 2024 is a 165.3km flat stage from Agen to Pau.

There are 'balcony roads' in the Lot-et-Garonne early in the stage, and hilly terrain towards the finish.

The intermediate sprint is at Nogaro, which hosted a stage finish last year.

The Côte de Blachon and Côte de Simacourbe climbs could prove fatal for some pure sprinters, even though both less than 2km. If some of the fast men are dropped, that might perhaps favour a sprinter-who-can-climb like Mads Pedersen.

Stage 13 serves the purpose of taking the race to Pau, traditional springboard into the Pyrenees.

Stage 13 Tour de France 2024: Video Highlights and Blog

These are video highlights of Stage 13.



This is the Stage 13 blog/race report.

Race Details | Poll | Map & Profile | Timings | Videos | Food & Drink | Route Notes | Favourites

Stage 13 Tour de France 2024: Race Details

Race details - Stage 13, Tour de France 2024
Date Friday 12th July 2024
Stage classification Flat
Distance 165.3km
Intermediate sprint Nogaro
Climbs Côte de Blachon (Cat. 4)
Côte de Simacourbe (Cat. 4)
Total climbing 2,000m

Stage 13 Tour de France 2024: Poll

Vote for one of the main contenders to win Stage 13.


Stage 13 Tour de France 2024: Map & Stage Profile

This is a map of the route of Stage 13, Tour de France 2024.

Map of Stage 13 Tour de France 2024
Map of Stage 13 Tour de France 2024, ©ASO/Tour de France

This is a zoom-able map of the route of Stage 13 of the 2024 Tour de France.


Note: this routemap was produced a long time in advance of the race, and could be subject to changes.

This is the profile of Stage 13 Tour de France 2024.

Profile of Stage 13 Tour de France 2024
Profile of Stage 13 Tour de France 2024, © ASO/Tour de France

Stage 13 Tour de France 2024: Timings

Timings - Stage 13, Tour de France 2024

Caravan Fast Schedule Slow Schedule
Start Time (départ fictif) 1130
1330
1330
Start Time (départ réel) 1150
1350
1350
Intermediate Sprint Nogaro 1353
1543
1553
Côte de Simacourbe Climb 1500
1644
1700
Finish Line (165.3km) 1541
1721
1741

Stage 13 Tour de France 2024: Videos

This is a video of the route of Stage 13 Tour de France 2024.

Pau is often a start or finish town in the Tour de France. It featured as a start town on Stage 5 of the 2023 edition of the race.



Food and Drink to Accompany Stage 13 Tour de France 2024

Madiran wine
Madiran wine (affiliate link)

Agen is the capital of the Lot-et-Garonne département, and it's known throughout France for its pruneaux d'Agen (Agen prunes).

Other specialities from this area include the Marmande tomato, the Garriguette strawberry, and the Armagnac-flavoured apple tart.

Last time the Tour was in Pau I suggested Madiran wine (affiliate link) to accompany the stage. Today the race visits Madiran, and I do so again. It's a powerful red with notes of cherry and blackberry.


Stage 13 Tour de France 2024: Route Notes

The stage starts in Agen (départ fictif).

Agen

Agen
Agen, by Florent Pécassou, Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

Agen is the capital (préfecture) of the Lot-et-Garonne département, with a population of around 32,000. It's on the Garonne river.

It was a medium-sized town in the Roman era, and had a theatre and amphitheatre (both destroyed).

The Canal des Deux Mers, which links the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, crosses over the Garonne on a canal bridge at Agen.

Agen Cathedral is dedicated to Saint Caprasius, who is a new one on me. There's also a Fine Arts Museum.

Louis Arthur Ducos du Hauron was a pioneer of colour photography who lived and worked in Agen in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Louis Arthur Ducos du Hauron
Louis Arthur Ducos du Hauron, public domain image

Agen prunes are produced in the Lot-et-Garonne département, and used to be exported from the river port at Agen. Today Agen has a large industrial area dedicated to processing agricultural products.

Agen rugby club have been champions of France eight times.

Agen is twinned with Llanelli in Wales.


The départ réel is on the Pont de Pierre as the riders leave Agen.

The peloton goes through the suburb of Roquefort and continues south west on the D7 Route de Moncaut to Nérac.

Nérac
Nérac, by Jibi44, Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

Nérac was a stronghold of the d'Albret family, Kings of Navarre, and they had a prestigious court here, with many artists. The most famous family member was Henri de Navarre, who became Henri IV of France.

Michel Polnareff was born in Nérac in 1944. His trademark is white-rimmed sunglasses.


Footballer Marouane Chamakh also took his first breaths in Nérac.

From Nérac, Stage 13 continues to Mézin, birthplace of Armand Fallières, President of France from 1906-1913.

Mézin has a Museum of Cork and the Wine Bottle Cork because in the 1800s cork from the cork oak was harvested here and sold.

The race follows the river Gélise to Poudenas and Sos.

Poudénas
Poudénas, by MOSSOT, Licence CC BY-SA 4.0

Next the riders head for Gabarret and Barbotan-les-Thermes/Cazaubon.

Barbotan-les-Thermes
Barbotan-les-Thermes, by Jack ma, Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

At Barbotan-les-Thermes you can bathe in waters and mud which treat rheumatism.

Here they are on the D524, which is part of the Itinéraire a Grand Gabarit, a route which allows convoys carrying very large parts of Airbus A380 aircraft to be transported.

Intermediate Sprint at Nogaro

The race then heads for Nogaro, and the intermediate sprint after 88.5km raced.

Nogaro was the scene of a stage finish on its motor racing circuit, on Stage 4 of the 2023 Tour de France.

Nogaro

Nogaro
Nogaro, by AirScott, Licence CC BY-SA 4.0

Nogaro has an Armagnac distillery.

It is also known for Floc-de-Gascogne, a liqueur wine made by mixing two-thirds grape must or grape juice and one-third young Armagnac. The result is a 16-18% alcohol drink for family consumption.

Michel Sarran is from Nogaro, and is a Michelin-starred chef with a restaurant in Toulouse.

Nogaro is associated with Spanish racing cyclist Luis Ocana, who won the 1973 Tour de France. He lived at a farm near to Nogaro, at Caupenne-d'Armagnac, and suffering illness and financial problems he committed suicide there in 1994.


This was the chaotic sprint in Nogaro on Stage 4 of the 2023 Tour.

The riders then make their way through vineyards to Riscle, on the river Adour.

From there, they head for the famous wine-making village of Madiran (see Food and Drink to Accompany Stage 13).

Madiran vines
Vines at Maumusson-Laguian, growing grapes for Madiran wine, by Marianne Casamance, Licence CC BY-SA 4.0

There is a Madiran wine festival on the 15th August every year.

There have been vineyards here since Roman times, but was Benedictine monks who scaled up the growing of grapes and making of wine here.

The grape varieties used are Cabernet Sauvignon, Tannat, Pacherenc and Palissé.

From Madiran, the stage goes to Crouseilles then crosses the Arcis (or Larcis) river. It then climbs away from the river.

Côte de Blachon (Category 4)

The climb is close to Séméacq-Blachon. It is 1.5km at an average 6.9%, and reaches a height of 309m after 127km raced.

The race continues to Lembeye, birthplace of Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle, who won Paris Roubaix in 1992 and 1993.

Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle
Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle, public domain image

Lembeye is near the river Lées. This is then the springboard for the Simacourbe climb.

Côte de Simacourbe (Category 4)

The Côte de Simacourbe is the second and last of the official climbs on Stage 13.

It's uphill to the village of Simacourbe - 1.8km at an average 6.4%, to a height of 316m after 136.3km raced.

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The route continues to Morlaàs, on the outskirts of Pau.

The Finish

Place de Verdun, Pau
Place de Verdun, Pau, by Nono64, Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

Stage 13 approaches Pau on the D943, Avenue Alfred Nobel - but there are no prizes for leading the peloton here.

There's a bend to the right onto Boulevard Tourasse, which becomes Avenue de l'Université before a left bend onto Boulevard du Recteur Jean Sarrailh.

A sharp left takes the peloton onto Avenue Jean Mermoz. A roundabout leads onto Boulevard Champetier de Ribes and a left bend takes the riders onto Rue Michelet.

Finally, the road becomes Rue du Maquis de Béarn, and the finish line is in Place de Verdun, overlooked by the Caserne Bernadotte.

Pau

Chateau de Pau
Chateau de Pau, by Turol Jones, Flickr, Licence CC BY 2.0

Pau is a city of 78,506 people (the inhabitants are called Palois) on the river Gave de Pau. It's the historic capital of the province of Béarn.

There are views of the Pyrenees from the boulevard des Pyrenées. Alphonse de Lamartine said, 'Pau has the most beautiful view of the earth just as Naples has the most beautiful view of the sea.'

Boulevard des Pyrenées, Pau
Boulevard des Pyrenées, Pau, by ludovic, Flickr, Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

The origin of the name Pau is uncertain. It could come from pal, referring to the palisade or fence around the first castle in Pau. Another possibility is that pal means rockface, and refers to Pau's position at the foot of mountains.

A castle was built by the Viscounts of Béarn, probably in the C11th, to protect a ford of the Gave de Pau. Pau became the capital of Béarn in 1464. It then became the seat of the Kings of Navarre in 1512. Henri of Navarre went on to become King Henri IV of France, in 1589. In 1620, Béarn lost its independence from France, although the Parliament of Navarre continued to govern local matters (with laws in the Occitan dialect).

In the Belle Epoque (usually defined as 1871 to 1914), Pau developed as a tourist destination for the royal, aristocratic, and rich. Scottish doctor Alexander Taylor helped make it a popular destination for a winter cure. Later, aviation and petrochemicals (following the discovery of natural gas in Lacq) were significant industries here, and more recently, the services sector has grown. There's a large student population at the Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour.

The Château de Pau is one of the city's main attractions. It was originally a fortification guarding a ford of the Gave de Pau, reinforced in the C14th by Gaston III of Foix-Béarn. In the C16th, as the seat of the Navarre dynasty, it was transformed into a residence.

Henri of Navarre was born in the château. Wikipedia has a garbled explanation of Henri's connection to the castle, which has the hallmarks of a computer translation from French: 'The future Henri IV takes the trouble to be born December 13, 1553, and the story did the rest. The fame of the king...gives the castle, which did not see him grow up or die, a particular taste, and the right to claim honours those who give birth supermen.'

Right. I, who not understand all things to men, a special smell, this translation glorious three and a half ten out of.


Stage 13 Tour de France 2024: the Favourites

Arnaud de Lie
Arnaud de Lie, public domain image

Stage 13 might be an opportunity for the sprinters.

If so, maybe Lotto-Dstny's junking of the vowels in their name will be a winning strategy, as it will make their riders lighter and faster. In that case, victory could go to Arnaud de Lie.

Who do you think will win Stage 13 of the 2024 Tour de France?




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