Stage 7 of Tour de France 2013 (100th edition) is a hilly stage from Montpellier to Albi. The length of the course is 205.5 kilometers.
DATE: July 05 2013, Friday
STAGE TYPE: Hilly
START-FINISH: Montpellier (42 m) > Albi (154 m)
LENGTH OF THE COURSE: 176.5 km
Mountain passes & hills
- @80.0 km, Col des 13 Vents (600 m), 6.9 kilometre-long climb at 5.6%. Category: 3
- @94.5 km, Col de la Croix de Mounis (809 m), 6.7 kilometre-long climb at 6.5%. Category: 2
- @149.0 km, Côte de la Quintaine, 6.5 kilometre-long climb at 4%. Category: 3
- @171.0 km, Côte de Teillet, 2.6 kilometre-long climb at 5%. Category: 4
@km 135.0, Viane
Montpellier is the capital of the Languedoc-Roussillon region, as well as the Hérault department. Montpellier is the 8th largest city of France, and is also the fastest growing city in the country over the past 25 years. Located on the south coast of France on the Mediterranean Sea, it is the third-largest French city on the Mediterranean coast after Marseille and Nice.
Albi is a commune in southern France. It is the prefecture of the Tarn department. It is located on the River Tarn, c. 85 km northeast of Toulouse. Its inhabitants are called Albigensians (French: Albigeois, Albigeoise(s), Occitan: albigés -esa(s)). It was the seat of the Archbishop of Albi and is the seat of the Diocese of Albi. The episcopal city, situated in the center of the actual city, around the cathedral, was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 2010.Albi was built around the original cathedral and episcopal group of buildings. This historic area covers 63 hectares. Red brick and tiles are the main feature of most of the edifices. Along with Toulouse and Montauban, Albi is one of the main cities built in Languedoc-style red brick.
Among the buildings of the town is the Sainte Cécile cathedral, a masterpiece of the Southern Gothic style, built between the 13th and 15th centuries. It is characterised by a strong contrast between its austere, defensive exterior and its sumptuous interior decoration. Built as a statement of the Christian faith after the upheavals of the Cathar heresy, this gigantic brick structure was embellished over the centuries: the Dominique de Florence Doorway, the 78 m high bell tower, the Baldaquin over the entrance (1515–1540). The rood screen is a filigree work in stone in the Flamboyant Gothic style. It is decorated with a magnificent group of polychrome statuary carved by artists from the Burgundian workshops of Cluny and comprising over 200 statues, which have retained their original colours.
Older than the Palais des Papes in Avignon, the Palais de la Berbie, formerly the Bishops’ Palace of Albi, now the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum, is one of the oldest and best-preserved castles in France. This imposing fortress was completed at the end of the 13th century. Its name comes from the Occitan word Bisbia, meaning Bishops’ Palace.
The Old Bridge (Pont Vieux) is still in use after almost a millennium. Originally built in stone (in 1035), then clad with brick, it rests on eight arches and is 151 m long. In the 14th century, it was fortified and reinforced with a drawbridge, and houses were built on the piers.
Albi is a city known for its elite Lycée Lapérouse, a high school with 500 students situated inside an old monastery. It has several advanced literature classes. Furthermore, it is one of the few holding a full-scale music section with special high-tech rooms for this section.
Albi is the home of the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum. More than 1000 works, including the 31 famous posters, are held here. This body of work forms the largest public collection in the world devoted to Toulouse-Lautrec.
The Pacific explorer Jean-François de Galaup, comte de Lapérouse was born in Albi and his discoveries are commemorated in a museum there.
UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre notes the Old Bridge (Pont-Vieux), the Saint-Salvi quarter, the quarter’s church, the fortified cathedral (late 13th century) in unique southern French Gothic style from local brick, the bishop’s Palais de la Berbie, and residential quarters, which help the Episcopal City of Albi form a “coherent and homogeneous ensemble of monuments and quarters that has remained largely unchanged over the centuries… a complete built ensemble representative of a type of urban development in Europe from the Middle Ages to the present day.