A year after the Tour de France passed through Lacapelle-Marival, the tourist benefits are still not felt

the essential
That was a year ago. Last year, the Tour de France stopped in the Lot. One time trial had started, in particular, from Lacapelle-Marival before arriving in Rocamadour. Did this event encourage tourists to come and visit the starting village? The answers are still somewhat conflicting.

Banners still fly in Lacapelle-Marival. A yellow, green or polka dot jersey… As if the village was nostalgic for last summer’s Tour de France. Indeed, the cyclists had set off from this location in the Grand Figeac to reach Rocamadour during an exceptional time trial, before the last stage of the Tour. The show was there for the many spectators lining the roads.

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And at the time there was an influx of tourists on the Grand Figeac. “We felt it through our tourist data. There was a high participation during the passage of the Tour. It was a big peak,” notes Pierre Kovacic, director of the Grand Figeac Tourist Office. He continues: “later, it wasn’t significant for the city of Lacapelle-Marival. People didn’t necessarily make the connection between the city and the Tourist Office.” For example, the city’s website didn’t see an increase in traffic at the time. The mayor of the city was happy to be a starting village. “It made the locals proud. Last year we saw people on bicycles come to repeat the stage,” smiles Pascal Lewicki.

A year later, the Tour de France banners still hang in front of the town hall and the castle.
DDM Aouregan Texier

And then, a year later, the passage of this mythical race still stirs the crowds? The answers are conflicting. “The Tour is a one-night relapse,” slips Christophe Watrelot, manager of the Le Bois de Sophie campsite, in Lacapelle-Marival. The latter, last year, had welcomed many caravans during the passage of the Giro. “People come to see the start. But they don’t come back later. Nobody told me they were coming here because we had been to the Tour de France,” said the manager.

The lot is not part of the “essential” milestones.

Within Lacapelle-Marival, he’s not the only one who thinks so. The manager of a hotel-restaurant confides it: “for us it has no tourist impact”. Ditto for the president of the Art and Heritage association, Jean-Pierre Gavarret, who looks after the château.

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Despite this, attendances have increased slightly. This month, compared to July last year, the reception points of the tourist offices of Grand Figeac have registered more visits. Especially in Lacapelle-Marival. This is not necessarily related to the passage of the Tour. Indeed, Pierre Kovacic believes that it is still too early to know the real impact of the passage of the tour on tourism in the Lot. “These are medium- and long-term effects,” he says. A point on which Pascal Lewicki, mayor of the town agrees: “the relapse can last up to 5/6 years. But, it has made the city a little known to those who have seen the Tour on TV. More generally, it has made the Lot shine”.

Christophe Watrelot underlines another element: “the Lot is not one of the great essential stages, such as the Col du Tourmalet for example”. An observation shared by Pierre Kovacic. “The Tour doesn’t regularly pass the Lot. I’ve worked in the Hautes-Alpes and hosted this race many times. That’s how you build something,” he says. However, the director of the Grand Figeac Tourist Office is positive: “in terms of images for the department, the passage of the Tour remains advantageous”.

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This summer, cyclists return to the Lot again. This Wednesday, July 26, Cahors will host the 4th stage of the women’s Tour de France. Something to make the lot vibrate again.

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