Armchair Tour de France

The annual Tour de France bolts out of the starting gate on Saturday for three grueling and beautiful weeks of bike racing.

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The sun is back, but the next challengers in the Tour de France are here as well. The high mountains of the Pyrenees, and now the riders are going to have to climb up at the end of the longest stage of this year's tour, of 139 miles. To here, in Andorre, it's the Climb of Arcalis, the Tour de France has only been here once before. Just looking down here on the castle of Lordatt. Dates back to the tenth and eleventh centuries and it used to be the stronghold of the count of Foix and that's a town we will be yet circumnavigating a little bit later on this afternoon. [SOUND] Another example of many shadows here seeped in history down in this part of France. [MUSIC] At just under one square mile in total area, the principality of Monaco is the second smallest country in the world after Vatican City. In fact, an average person could walk from one end to the other in under an hour, but it sure packs a punch. This is the beautiful chateau of [UNKNOWN]. Private ownership, the guy who built this was only 23 years of age when he decided to buy it, and it was only built as recently as 1893. This is where the riders head to today. They're coming to tour in the Hautes-Pyrenes. It really is a magical valley. If you take a left hand here once you get to the bottom instead of turning to the right towards the tour malake you can climb over these mountains and pop over into Spain. Into Saunt Set, a good white wine area tonight, some of the best vineyards in France. I hear the Saunt Set Wire Hills Is where they grow this wonderful wine and [LAUGH] it's in the region of the berry [UNKNOWN]. This is fitting for grapes isn't it? It certainly is. One of the most famous white wines. We're just looking there at the [UNKNOWN]. It's a strong, hold tower. One of the last castles was built in the 14th century. Caste surrounded by a very thick crenalated wall, and it was part of the Tower of St. George. That Chateau de Grange, another beautiful, pristine Chateau here. Need a boat to go out by the lagoon. Well there will be plenty of carp in the moat around there. A protected castle, it was first built in the 14th century by Bureau de le Riviere. ANd he was the chamberlain to keep Charles the Fifth. And he was one of the closest servants and advisors to his son as well, Charles the Sixth. And that was between 1368 and 1422. It's surrounded by moats as you can see. But the reason for that was for its protection. This is the Charles de Gaulle new memorial here, Bob. And so this is the Lorraine Cross and it was adopted to represent the Dukes of Anjou and the Dukes of Lorraine and it was adopted as the symbol of Free France, and that was a proposal by the Vice Admiral Emile Muselier. Well we're just looking down at that church again [INAUDIBLE] is made out of the local sandstone from this part of the world. A very pink sandstone. That's a dominant feature of a lot of the buildings In this area around here. Welcome back to the beauty of the Swiss Alps here. We'll be in the French Alps next week as the Tour De France faces off to its first big climb of the tour when it finishes in Verbeir. Well there's our beautiful track aerial view today. Don't forget we are now in the heart of Switzerland. And there's plenty of chateaus sits on the treetops around this part of the world. This is the Chateau of Romant\g as the camera circles around it, it's a track of your view and it's a beautiful shot. [MUSIC]
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Armchair Tour de France


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