The start of Paris-Roubaix generates as much expectation as the return of spring. The start of this year's race, which will again be given in Compiègne, will have a special taste. It will mark the 70th anniversary of the triumph of André Mahé, the only rider from the Oise department to win the race so far.
In what is becoming a fine tradition, the Sports Department of the Compiègne Region Conurbation will again organise the Salon de Paris-Roubaix during the team presentation on Saturday to be as close to the riders as possible. Cycling bargain hunters will embark on a quest for treasures, rummaging through the stands in their search for the one collectible, poster or jersey that is still missing from their collections.
Compiègne is also gearing up for the Paris Olympics. Ranked among the most "active and sporting" cities in France, it sees sport as an arena for athletic achievements, but also as a powerful driver of social cohesion and a true source of collective wellbeing.
Its geographical proximity to Paris and outstanding sports facilities will thrust Compiègne into the spotlight as a support base for the 2024 Olympics.
Educational institutions at the cutting edge of research
Compiègne is home to a real higher learning hub. The University of Technology of Compiègne (UTC), recognised as the top post-baccalaureate general engineering school (2018 Eduniversal Ranking), and the Higher School of Organic and Mineral Chemistry (ESCOM) make Compiègne an attractive place to do business and boost the city's national and international profile.
A land of remembrance
The Internment and Deportation Memorial makes Compiègne a true open-air museum and makes sure these poignant events are never forgotten. Visitors can explore the living reality of history to gain a better understanding of these dark years and vigorously say "never again".
Monuments such as the Abbey of Saint Cornelius, the churches of Saint-James and Saint- Antoine, the King's Great Stables and the Gothic-style City Hall hark back to the rich past of the city. Ever since the Merovingian era, numerous sovereigns who wanted to hunt in Compiègne have had residences built here. Louis XV, Napoleon and Napoleon III were the driving forces behind what is now known as the Château de Compiègne. The Armistice that ended World War I was signed in a clearing in the north of Compiègne.