Albi, a unique destination

PortraitAlbi, at the pinnacle of French cycling

After Aalborg and Hobro in Denmark and Perth in Australia, Albi is pleased and proud to host the UCI World Masters Track Cycling Championships from August 31 through September 3, 2017.  This event, under the auspices of the International Cycling Union, is a first in France!

Having hosted 12 stages of the Tour de France of which the last winner, Peter Sagan, was world champion of road 2015, and also several stages of the Route du Sud, Federal International Cycling Week, and the French Cup of Cyclo-cross, these competitions solidify Albi’s place at the pinnacle of cycling and reaffirm the trust that governing sporting bodies have in it.

Following being named the most athletic city in France by the sports newpaper L’Equipe in 2012, this high-level international event attracting 2500 of the best cyclists in the world, affirms Albi’s strong sporting tradition. 

It’s a stroke of luck and a reward for the people of Albi, whose passion for sports needs no further demonstration, with a higher number of athletes than the national average.  We would like to sincerely thank the organising committee and its president, General Roland Gilles, the Albi cycling club Vélo Sport and all of the volunteers working to organise this event, as well as the International Cycling Union and the French Federation of Cycling for their trust.

We are determined to do everything possible to make these events a collective success that will give all participants an unforgettable memory of Albi and its numerous treasures, from Episcopal City, listed as a World Heritage Site, to the friendliness of its inhabitants !

Athletically,

Stéphanie Guiraud-Chaumeil, Mayor of Albi 

Michel Franques, First Deputy Mayor, Sports, Tourism, and Events Delegate

Albi, a unique destination

Vue sur Albi depuis la rivière tarnWelcome to Albi, at the heart of the new larger region of Languedoc – Roussillon Midi – Pyrénées, the second largest region in France and also one of the most attractive. Located less than one hour from Toulouse, Albi stands out by virtue of the alliance between its heritage, distinguished twice by UNESCO, and the quality and depth of its athletic and cultural life.

Located in the southwest of France, Albi has a rich heritage shaped by centuries of history of which the Episcopal city was ranked July 31, 2010 on the World Heritage List. In addition to its world-renowned heritage, the city offers numerous attractions : the richness of its athletic and cultural life, the quality of higher education and research, thousands of businesses in the Albi area, industrial innovation and performance, and a preserved setting in the heart of a dynamic area open to the world.

A unique city, an exceptional heritage

Registered by UNESCO for its preserved construction, marked by the episcopal urban footprint and the widespread use of ‘fairground brick’, the Episcopal City is structured around its cathedral and its palace-fortress, the Berbie Palace, built in the thirteenth century.

The Saint Cecile cathedral constitutes a most remarkable monument in a unique southern Gothic architectural style, completed during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries by exceptional interior decor. It is the largest brick cathedral in the world! 

Beside it sits the Berbie Palace, former residence of bishops, currently home to the Toulouse-Lautrec museum, an international museum housing the collection of the world-renowned artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

At the gates of the Episcopal city stands the new Grand Théâtre of Albi, a contemporary architecture building designed by Dominique Perrault , renowned internationally . It is located in the heart of the cultural quarter of the Cordeliers and demonstrates a strong aspect of the Albi identity, balancing preserved heritage and modernity . 

The recent inclusion of the Mappa Mundi of Albi in UNESCO’s international Memory of the World registry confirms the exceptional nature of Albi’s heritage, distinguishing Albi and Paris as the only cities in France with two sites registered by UNESCO.

Albi, city of art and culture

If Albi is world renowned for its heritage, it is also rich in culture, the centerpiece of its identity and attraction.  Here all art forms come together, from painting, of which Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec is the undeniable ambassador, to music, of which the Pause Guitare festival is included among the biggest French festivals, to the rich and varied offerings presented by the Scène Nationale d’Albi within the Grand Théâtre, and the numerous cultural events taking place throughout the year in Albi.

Expositions, shows, concerts, workshops, tours (…), there are numerous occasions for exposure to every form of artistic expression.

The busy and varied agenda of cultural offerings demonstrates the depth of cultural life in Albi, which you will be able to experience during the UCI World Masters Track Cycling Championships 2017!

A day-to-day passion for sports

With a number of athletes among the highest in France, quality equipment for every sport and a strong athletic dynamic pushing sporting clubs and their members, Albi counts itself at the top of the list of most athletic cities.

Over the years, Albi has acquired practical experience with large events, whether cultural or athletic. 

Thus, numerous national sporting events have been organised in Albi, of which some of the most recent have been the Federal International Cycling Week, the Décanation, l’Eurogym, and the Route du Sud…

This profound athletic tradition has been recognized by the sporting newspaper L’equipe, which, in 2012, designated Albi « the most athletic city in France ». 

This savoir-faire has been recognized once again by the International Cycling Union, which has conferred the UCI World Masters Track Cycling Championships on Albi, rewarding Albi and its inhabitants for their passion for sports!