Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux – Le Cap d’Agde (217km) Click for route map
As the Tour reached the Mediterranean we saw views of the coastal plain with its large inland lakes, or étangs, many of which are separated from the sea by only a narrow tract of land. This was one of the stages we had been looking forward to as the section was one we knew we would recognise from our holiday in 2007. One place we had seen in the guide books but did not manage to get to was the Cathédrale at Maguelone which looked as if it would have been worth visiting. Hopefully another time. There were some very familiar sights, with impressive aerial shots of the canals and buildings of Sète, sometimes called the Venice of the Languedoc. As the cyclists ascended the steep summit of Mont St Clair they would not have been able to enjoy the fantastic views eastwards towards the town and harbour and westwards along the coastal strip which divides the sea from the Étang de Thau, looking towards Cap d’Agde where they were due to finish. We stayed on the Castellas campsite in the middle of the coastal strip which was very well appointed and great for the beach but a traffic nightmare with long queues every time you wanted to go anywhere. What we were not expecting to see from the Tour de France helicopter was the new inland road running the length of the coastal strip with the former beach side road, which turned into a camping car park each evening, apparently now mostly out of use. It was pleasing to see that most of the land close to the sea looked as if it was being given an opportunity to return to a more natural state. Hopefully one day we will see the changes for ourselves. Read more about our 2007 travels.
The top five of Stage 13
1. André Greipel (GER) LTB 4h57’59”
2. Peter Sagan (SLO) LIQ
3. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR) SKY
4. Sebastien Hinault (FRA) ALM
5. Daryl Impey (RSA) OGE
Team placings after Stage 13
1. Team Radioshack
2. Sky Procycling
Jerseys for Stage 14
Yellow – Wiggins (2nd overall Froome)
Green – Sagan
Polka Dot – Kessiakoff
White – Van Garderen
For more information on the cyclists, their teams and how they were placed see the Tour de France official site.
Read my TDF posts covering this and previous years.