|Chris Anker SORENSEN||STB||39|
|Matthew Harley GOSS||OGE||203|
|RABOBANK CYCLING TEAM||RAB||14:59:53|
|BMC RACING TEAM||BMC||15:08:44|
After being developed around its church, the city rapidly developed thanks to its linen and leather industry. Today, Limoux is renowned for its blanquette (sparkling wine), its Toques et Clochers Festival, its carnival, its museums and its gastronomy.
- la blanquette – it is the oldest sparkling wine in the world. Discovered in 1531 its method of wine production was subsequently applied to champagne by Dom Perignon. It makes up the main economy of the town and of the region. You can also include the Anne de Joyeuse cave that produces quality AOC wines.
- Toques et Clochers – this wine auction held in Spring takes place with the aim of raising money for the restauration of the ancient belltowers (clochers). It is followed by a meal prepared by a top chef (Toque).
- the carnival – every winter it lasts nearly three months. It is the longest carnival in the world. Festivities begin 12 weeks before the religious festival of Palm Sunday.
- the museums – the Petiet Museum is dedicated to paintings, there are also museums celebrating the piano, automata, printing and plants at La Bouichère.
- gastronomy – little pebradous biscuits, salted liver artichokes, Limouxine duck, fricassée, pescalhos (pancakes),...
Right in the heart of the Ariège, at the foot of the Pyrenees, Foix, symbolised by its three towers of its Château Comtal, combines the quality of life of an average town with the advantages of its immediate proximity to a great metropolis, Toulouse, but also with the Pyrenees, Spain and Andorra. Undoubtedly the emblematic monument of the city, the Castle (10th – 15th centuries) stands majestically on its rock and was home to the Counts of Foix, including the brilliant Gaston Febus (1343-1391). A Tour stage town and popular with tourists, Foix combines the authenticity of its ancient medieval centre with the diversity of its businesses and the quality of its beautiful natural environment. This unspoiled environment is perfect for so many sporting activities and outdoor leisure pursuits: cycling and mountainbiking, walking or horseriding, rafting in calm or choppy waters or even paragliding down the valley. Foix is in a privileged spot for discovering the treasures of the Ariege department: middle age castles, Cathar citadels, roman abbeys, prehistoric caves.. or quite simply sublime natural locations.