Stage 16 Tour de France 2024

Stage 15 | Stage 16 | Stage 17

Amphitheatre at Nimes
Amphitheatre at Nimes, by Krzysztof Golik, Licence CC BY-SA 4.0

Stage 16 of the Tour de France 2024 is a 188.6km flat stage from Gruissan to Nîmes.

The stage route leaves the coast near Narbonne, and heads north east over the flatlands just inland of the Golf du Lion.

The only categorised climb is the Côte de Fambetou, near the Pic Saint-Loup, about two thirds of the way through the race.

If the Mistral blows it could disrupt the peloton, and present an opportunity to those teams that deal well with windy conditions.

Stage 16 is likely to end in a bunch sprint or a sprint from a reduced peloton.

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

Stage 16 Tour de France 2024: Race Details

Race details - Stage 16, Tour de France 2024
Date Tuesday 16th July 2024
Stage classification Flat
Distance 188.6km
Intermediate sprint Les Matellettes
Climbs Côte de Fambetou (Cat. 4)
Total climbing 1,200m

Stage 16 Tour de France 2024: Poll

Vote for one of the main contenders to win Stage 16.

Stage 16 Tour de France 2024: Map & Stage Profile

This is a map of the route of Stage 16, Tour de France 2024.

Map of Stage 16 Tour de France 2024
Map of Stage 16 Tour de France 2024, ©ASO/Tour de France

This is a zoom-able map of the route of Stage 16 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 16 Tour de France 2024.

Profile of Stage 16 Tour de France 2024
Profile of Stage 16 Tour de France 2024, © ASO/Tour de France

Stage 16 Tour de France 2024: Timings

Timings - Stage 16, Tour de France 2024

Caravan Fast Schedule Slow Schedule
Start Time (départ fictif) 1105
Start Time (départ réel) 1130
Intermediate Sprint Les Matellettes 1344
Côte de Fambetou Climb 1407
Finish Line (188.6km) 1553

Stage 16 Tour de France 2024: Videos

This is a video of the route of Stage 16 Tour de France 2024.

The last time the Tour de France finished in Nîmes was on Stage 12 of the 2021 edition. Nils Politt won from a breakaway.

Food and Drink to Accompany Stage 16 Tour de France 2024

Tavel wine (affiliate link)

One local speciality is brandade de Nîmes.

It is salt cod, puréed with milk and olive oil, and sometimes served with black truffle shavings.

Under the hot sun of Nîmes, a refreshing rosé wine is highly recommended. One possibility is Tavel.

Tavel is made from the Grenache grape, and the wine has notes of raspberry, strawberry, watermelon and white flowers.

Buy a bottle of Domaine Lafond Tavel (affiliate link).

Stage 16 Tour de France 2024: Route Notes

The stage starts in Gruissan (départ fictif).


Gruissan, public domain image

Gruissan is a circular fishing village that stands around a ruined château from the 900s. Only the Tour Barberousse remains of the castle.

The castle belonged to the Archbishop of Narbonne, who was the local lord, and the fortification was part of the defences of the Port of Narbonne.

The castle was abandoned in the 1600s on the orders of Cardinal Richelieu.

Gruissan is by salt flats, including the Salin de Saint-Martin, and lagoons, such as the Etang de Gruissan. Salt was very valuable in the Roman era; it continues to be produced today.

The Montagne de la Clape is immediately inland from Gruissan, and Narbonne is a stone's throw away.

Gruissan, by Jcb-caz-11, CC BY-SA 4.0

Gruissan has a tradition of going for a dip in the sea at 11am on 1st January each year.

Later in the year, there's a Fête des Vendanges to celebrate the grape harvest.

The neutralised section is a little trundle up the coast to Narbonne-Plage. The départ réel is a little further on at Saint-Pierre-la-Mer.

Near Saint-Pierre is a limestone feature called le Gouffre de l'Oeil Doux.

Gouffre de l'Oeil Doux
Gouffre de l'Oeil Doux, by Chris-13, CC BY-SA 3.0

The riders follow the D1118 to Fleury, also known as Fleury d'Aude, then through vineyards to Lespignan.

Lespignan, by JYB Devot, CC BY-SA 4.0

Lespignan developed in Gallo-Roman times, and there were numerous Roman villas. It is known for its quarries and its wine.

Then it's on to Béziers.


Béziers, by Chensiyuan, CC BY-SA 4.0

Béziers looks very nice, but its big August event is a five-day bullfighting festival - a good reason to avoid the place.

It's on the river Orb, and the Canal du Midi passes over the river here.

Béziers was founded in 575BC, but the Romans re-founded it as Baeterrae in 36BC as a colony for army veterans.

Baeterrae supplied wine to Rome.

Béziers was conquered by the Muslims in the 700s, and was part of Islamic Iberia from 720 to 752.

In the 1200s, Béziers was a stronghold of Catharism. In 1209, the Albigensian Crusaders besieged Béziers, seeking to destroy Catharism on behalf of the Catholic church. They sacked the town and killed everyone.

Béziers has a long tradition of wine-making. On 12th May 1907, there was a large protest against foreign competition (imported grapes that avoided customs duties).

Soliders sent to repress the demonstration mutinied, and there was nearly a large-scale rebellion against the national government, just averted.

Béziers' Cathedral is dedicated to Saint-Nazaire.

Béziers Cathedral
Béziers Cathedral, public domain image

The Allées Pierre-Paul Riquet are named after the man who had the idea of the Canal du Midi and organised its construction.

Béziers has two amphitheatres - a Roman one, and a more modern one from 1905.

David Millar won a stage of the Tour de France in Béziers in 2002.

The race makes its way north from Béziers, through vineyards and villages such as Abeilhan and Alignan-du-Vent to Pézenas.

Pézenas, by Christian Ferrer, CC BY-SA 3.0

Pézenas' name comes from piscenis, meaning fishing pond. In the 1600s, Molière, the most famous French playwright, stayed in Pézenas with his theatre group.

Stage 16 then follows the course of the Hérault river north to Bélarga and Gignac.

Plane trees shading café tables at Gignac, by Sacamol, CC BY-SA 3.0

The donkey is the animal associated with Gignac, because in the 700s a donkey woke up the local people with its braying to alert them to the presence of the Saracens. On Ascension Day, a model donkey is paraded through the town accompanied by musicians and dancers.

The route continues via Aniane, which has a historic abbey, and Puéchabon. The road now rises and there are quarries to the left and right. Now comes the intermediate sprint.

Intermediate Sprint at Les Matellettes

The intermediate sprint is at a nothing place called Les Matellettes, near a small private château, after 96.1km raced.

The peloton continues to Viols-le-Fort

Viols-le-Fort, by Fagairolles 34, CC BY-SA 4.0

Viols-le-Fort retains part of its ramparts, and the Fanabregol Tower which is a gateway into the village.

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Soon after Viols-le-Fort, the race passes Cambous, which has a prehistoric village from the late Neolithic.

The riders continue to Saint-Martin-de-Londres, which has a Byzantine-style church.

Saint-Martin-de-Londres, by Fagairolles 34, CC BY-SA 4.0

Then Stage 16 takes the D122 through Mas-de-Londres and starts the climb towards the Pic Saint-Loup.

Côte de Fambetou (Pic Saint Loup Climb) (Category 4)

Pic Saint-Loup
Pic Saint-Loup, by KP Timmerman, CC BY-SA 3.0

The road passes over the Col de Fambétou, between the Pic Saint-Loup and the Sommet de l'Hortus.

The climb is 1.2km at an average 5% gradient, to a height of 244m after 112.6km raced.

Near the top of the col, the road is overlooked by the ruined Château de Viviourès.

Château de Viviourès, by Bumpstead2022, CC BY-SA 4.0

The descent is to Saint-Mathieu-de-Tréviers.

The route continues through vineyards, and villages such as Saint-Bauzille-de-Montmel and Sommières - a 'small town of character'.

Sommières, by Raimond Spekking, CC BY-SA 4.0

Sommières has a Roman bridge dating from the C1st AD. Author Lawrence Durrell, brother of Gerald Durrell, settled in Sommières towards the end of his life.

The race leaves Sommières via Villevielle and continues to the edge of Calvisson before turning right to head for Vergèze and its Bouillens spring.

The purpose of this is to pass (and do a little back and forwards in front of) the source and bottling factory of Perrier water.

Perrier water
Pack of Perrier water (affiliate link)

Although you can buy water from Perrier, I suggest that 99% of what you're purchasing is marketing not product.

Also, bottled or canned water shipped and trucked hundreds or thousands of miles generates vast greenhouse gas emissions completely unnecessarily when you've got the same stuff available from a tap.

That commercial obligation out of the way, Stage 16 can start its approach to the finish at Nîmes.

The Finish

Stade des Costieres, Nimes
Stade des Costières, Nîmes, by Fexedyte, Licence CC BY-SA 4.0

The peloton takes the D135 Chemin des Canaux to Aubord and Caissargues.

It then joins the D999 near Rodilhan.

There's a left turn at a roundabout onto Boulevard du Président Salvador Allende. Now there are no more turns before the finish, but there are several roundabouts where the race goes straight on.

The finish line is on Bd Allende by Nîmes Métropole Colisée, and near the Stade des Costières.


Maison Carrée, Nimes
Maison Carrée, Nîmes, by Krzysztof Golik, Licence CC BY-SA 4.0

The Stage 16 finish town is Nîmes, capital of the Gard département with a population of around 150,000.

It's named after Nemausus, the god of the local Gaulish tribe. They had an oppidum on Mont Cavalier.

In 123BC, Roman General Quintus Fabius Maximus conquered the local tribes, and the Roman Province of Gallia Transalpina was established in 121BC.

Nîmes was on the Via Domitia which connected Italy and Spain.

It became a Roman colony, populated by veterans of Julius Caesar's Egyptian campaigns. That's why the city's emblem is a Nile crocodile.

Augustus built city walls with towers and gates.

Other Roman building work included the Maison Carrée temple, the Nîmes aqueduct which included the Pont du Gard, and the amphitheatre.

At the end of the 200s, Barbarian invasions slowed the development of Nîmes, and nearby Arles became more prosperous.

The Visigoths captured Nîmes in 472.

It was under Louis IX in the 1200s that Nîmes became part of France.

Nîmes is known for the production of textiles, including serge de Nîmes, or blue denim. Blue dye was imported from Lahore via Genoa.

Nîmes is twinned with Preston in the UK.

Stage 16 Tour de France 2024: the Favourites

Pascal Ackermann
Pascal Ackermann, by Nicola, CC BY-SA 4.0

This could be a bunch sprint, or it could be a sprint from a reduced leading group if the wind blows.

Philipsen is always among the favourites, and Cavendish could perhaps get his second stage win of the 2024 Tour. If someone new wins, why not Pascal Ackermann of Israel Premier Tech? He has been very consistent in the sprints.

Who do you think will win Stage 16 of the 2024 Tour de France?

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