Tomorrow, the Tour de France will enter the Pyrenees through the small town of Peyrat, in the land of Olmes, the gateway to four days of celebration, in the passes and along the roads.
An imaginary banner will float this Saturday above the town of Peyrat, in the land of Olmes, to welcome the riders of the Tour de France, the first Ariège village on the road to competition. And, a few kilometers further, La Bastide sur l’Hers is mobilized to welcome the event in its turn.
Spectators will be welcomed by a large number of events: entertainment for adults and children, exhibitions, bandas … in front of a fresco created by local artists, in honor of the French champions. The town’s bar and several village associations have come together to offer refreshments and catering, on the terrace and on the promenade, as well as a raffle. A mobilization that does not surprise the mayor of the village, Guillaume Lopez, really delighted: “There is a real enthusiasm in the town, he sums up. When we learned that the organization was looking for a relay-stopover village, we jumped at the chance. We want to give a good image of our village, and that the territory is well represented. It is an honor for us. And the idea immediately seduced: everyone loves the Tour . In this period when we begin to relive a little, it is a real happiness “.
This Saturday, the atmosphere will be at the rendezvous at La Bastide sur l’Hers, where the officials must also stop. But it will also be at the rendezvous on the side of Montségur. For the third time in its history, the riders will set off to storm the category 2 pass. And there will be people watching the stage go by. “There are always a lot of people, confirms the mayor of the town, Nicolas Digoudé. People have been arriving in large numbers for several days already. The parking lot in front of the campsite is full. The campsite itself is slowly filling up”. The crowds are also felt in the surrounding accommodation.
“We are happy with the arrival of the Tour,” resumes the mayor of the town. We welcome, during his visit, a large number of foreign tourists, who “slide” with the Tour, visit the museum and the castle during their stay, but will come back later to take the time to explore the other sites “.
The inhabitants of the commune – a village of 118 souls – will do doc welcome the crowd of spectators who settle down for a few days: “It’s very positive for our territory”, summarizes Nicolas Digoudé.
See the runners pass, without getting trapped
Tomorrow’s stage inaugurates a series of traffic restrictions. We will have to juggle, until Tuesday evening, to go shopping or approach the passage of the runners.
Saturday, it is a part of the country of Olmes that will be concerned, in a stage which goes from Carcassonne to Quillan, via Lavelanet and Montségur, and more particularly the sector located around Bélesta.
A portion of the RD 117 will be closed at Lavelanet from July 9 at 6 p.m. to July 10 at 6 p.m. To attend the sprint which will take place in the streets of the city of the Pays d’Olmes, no worries, however: deviations will be in place to approach the course.
On the other hand, to reach the two passes concerned by this stage, it will be necessary to take some precautions. For Montségur, it will be necessary to organize before 9:30 am to approach the category 2 pass (1050 meters), a place which will probably be very popular this Saturday. Traffic will not return to normal until after 5 p.m. The affected roads: RD 620, RD 117, RD 9 and RD16 (the axis connecting Le Peyrat to Belesta).
Same times, and same impacted roads, to position themselves at the level of the pass of the Croix-des-Morts, (category 2, 898 meters) above Bélesta, going towards the Aude. Again, the road from Bélesta will be closed from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. This is the D16, which leaves towards Espezel, in the Aude.
“A beautiful crossing”
The president of the departmental council, Christine Téqui, questioned by “La Dépêche du Midi” when the route of the Tour de France 2021 was unveiled, in part, last November, reacted in these terms: “” We will have neither arrival, nor departure, but we are going to have a magnificent crossing. There are two forays at the start of the tourist season. Superb stages, twice. We will benefit from very beautiful images, on a very beautiful course. When you have the Tour, it boosts the tourist season “(” La Dépêche du 11 novembre 2020 “). The economic benefits for the department, in fact, are far from being negligible. As real as the pleasure of the public.