Verviers brings the Tour to France

For many weeks now, the town of Verviers has been decked out in the Tour de France colours.

Town decorations

  • The town's flowerbeds and roundabouts have been planted with flowers to welcome the Tour. And the Kermadec and Laboru roundabouts have been decorated in the colours of the Grande Boucle with flowers, posters and cyclist silhouettes, etc.
  • The town has been decorated with some fifty kakemonos (public lighting and urban furniture).
  • Productions from the Athénée Verdi art section.
  • 11 papier-mâché bikes in the windows of empty units.
  • 30 recycled, decorated bicycle wheels at the train station entrance and in the windows of empty units in the town centre.
  • A mural will be painted in the station.
  • Stickers to be placed on windows, on the windows of the former Optique Point de Mire - Place du Martyr.
  • Drawings and bicycle wheels in the windows of the former Blokker Pont Saint Laurent.
  • Tarpaulins covered with prints of drawings on promotional blocks.
  • Urban knitting produced by Régie de Quartier d'Ensival.
  • 12 railings in the Parc de l'Harmonie decorated with jerseys.
  • 4 trees on Rue du Brou (main roundabout for Spector/Tom Taylor route)
  • 3 trees in front of the brasseries Chez Georges and the Récollets Church.
  • 4 trees on the way to C&A.
  • 3 trees in front of the Forem.
  • Trees on Place Vieuxtemps.
  • Shops will hold "Le Tour des Vitrines" (the store window tour), decorating their windows and holding a competition to win bikes and cameras.
  • Residents of the city of Liège are invited to decorate the front of their house in the Tour colours.
  • A giant jersey on the Grande Poste building (8/5 m).
  • Tarpaulin on the Grand Bazar.
  • Club flags in the shape of jerseys along the route.

"Bandes Dessinées" (comics) exhibition (until 7 July, Bibliothèque de Verviers).

From 2 June, the Verviers library will exhibit a selection of exclusive works and cartoon plates (Hausman, Thiel, Walthery, etc.). These plates were created especially for the Tour's arrival in Liège in 2012.

The town of Verviers will hold two competitions (one in the the local magazine, the other on the official Facebook page: Various prizes can be won, including 2 tickets to Paris on 23 July!

During June, local students will be given the chance to take part in a tourist rally (answers placed in windows in the city centre). During the Musicales Lekeu event (1 July at l'Harmonie), two pieces will be played which have been specially composed by David Reyes as a tribute to the Tour.

Monday, 2 July: "Verviers-Longwy" stage

On Monday, 3 July, 41 years after it first came to Verviers, the Tour de France will be back. The Capitale de l'Eau (Verviers, the 'Capital of Water') is delighted and honoured to have been chosen as a "start" town, as, as the clock strikes 12.15, this third stage will head to Longwy.

Tchantchès gets a new look

For this special occasion, Tchanthès, the famous Liège puppet, will leave his home in the Musée d'Outre-Meuse to come to the banks of the Vesdre where he will be dressed in the Tour de France white jersey.

Start village

Before the sporting event begins, the public will be able to enjoy a series of events held near the "Start Village", set up next to Verviers' newly renovated train station. Outside this area, mascots for various brands will distribute gadgets to fans of the Tour. All of these events will herald the arrival of the publicity caravan (two hours before departure). Immediately after, the riders will be presented on stage (around 11 am). Finally, the neutral start will begin from the top of Rue d'Ensival and the riders will travel 5 km through the town centre.

Carrefour Village (10 am - 5 pm, Place du Martyr)

Stands promoting regional products and local associations will be set up, providing entertainment for kids and adults alike. In this village, the public will be able to follow the race live on big screens and kids will be able to enjoy a wide range of different activities.

Bike trial and BMX demos (10.45 am - 5 pm, Rue du Marteau, Pont-Aux-Lions and Place du Martyr)

Demos will be carried out by two major bike champions: for BMX, Arnaud Dubios, the first Belgian to have competed in the Olympic Games in this discipline, and for trial biking, Thierry Klinkenberg, World Champion and 11-time Belgian Champion.

Gauff' Concert (2 pm, Cour Fisher)

The Belgian group Gauff' will perform on Cour Fisher and are guaranteed to liven up the Verviers Beach site.

Choreography filmed from the sky, Stade de Bielmont

Dancers from the Fabienne Henrot dance group will perform choreography that will be filmed by the helicopters flying over the Tour de France.

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The Tour at the Francorchamps Circuit

Before reaching France, the peloton will head to Theux, Jalhay, Stavelot and Trois-Ponts. One of the major highlights of the day will be when the Tour takes to the Spa-Francorchamps Circuit and its famous Raidillon. Spectators will be able to attend this great event with free access to stands.

The caravan is expected, according to ASO time, at 10.57 am and the riders at 12.55 pm. The general public will be able to get front-row seats between the entrance to the Source and the top of the Raidillon. Of course the stands will also be accessible from here and from the other side of the track on the terrace of the Pitlane building. The rest of the course (between Raidillon and Blanchimont) will be visible from the normal locations, at the start of the roads open to the public alongside the track.

The caravan, followed by the riders, will enter via the Source and leave via Blanchimont (Source-Raidillon, Combes, Double Gauche, Blanchimont). Before and after they arrive, please note that there will be motorbikes on the track (for the DG Sport Moto Day, which is a track day, not a motorbike race).

To get into the Circuit (by foot! No vehicles are allowed on site but car parks are available), the entrances that can be used are: Ster, Combes and Blanchimont.

Francorchamps Exit 10 will be closed at 9.15 am.  After this time, access to the circuit will only be via Malmedy Exit 11, the N62 and the bypass road for arriving at the "Ster" entrance (avoiding the village of Francorchamps).

Francorchamps Exit 10 will be closed at 9.15 am.  After this time, access to the circuit will only be via Malmedy Exit 11, the N62 and the bypass road for arriving at the "Ster" entrance (avoiding the village of Francorchamps).