Passage du Gois
The Passage du Gois (also known historically as Gôa) is a natural, periodically flooded passage leading to the island of Noirmoutier in France. It is located between Île de Noirmoutier and Beauvoir-sur-Mer, in the department of Vendée. It is flooded twice a day by the high tide. Length of this track is 4.125 km
The passage was first founded in 1577; the name Gois derives from old French and is the same origin as the modern word gué (forded).
Every year, a foot race – the Foulées du Gois – is held across it, starting at the onset of the high tide.
Tour de France
In 1999 Passage du Gois was used by Tour de France bicycle race during Stage 2. It proved to be decisive for the race after a fall took place because of its slippery surface. The crash created a six-minute split in the peloton which ended the hopes of many favourites to win the race, like Alex Zülle, who would eventually finish second overall, seven minutes after Lance Armstrong. However after Armstrong received a life-time ban for using performance-enhancing drugs he lost his title, with the result that Alex Zülle is now the recognised winner of the race.
Passage du Gois was used again in 2011 as the starting point of the first stage.
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