The 46th start of Paris-Roubaix from Compiègne is again keenly awaited this year. This 121st edition represents an opportunity to prove once more that Compiègne is a land of cycling. With a 3-laurel standard active and sporting town label since 2018, it has obtained a level of certification that rewards its actions in favour of sport for all. The town of Compiègne also distinguished itself in 2023 by being awarded the “Tour de France Cycling Town” label. This award recognises the efforts made by the local authority to promote cycling and soft mobility. This approach involved developing facilities and services, supporting cycling clubs and associations and introducing long-term bicycle hire run by VéloTIC.

The sporting fabric of Compiègne – with more than 14,000 club or association members registered – helped it to gain the French label for supporting the Olympics and its facilities will enable it to welcome foreign delegations before the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

After this global event, these facilities help to boost the development of physical and sporting activities in the region.

This year once again, the “Paris-Roubaix fair”, organised by the Compiègne region urban area’s sports bureau, will take place in close proximity to the riders on presentation of the teams on Saturday and will attract many cycling enthusiasts to its stands.

Schools at the cutting edge of research

Compiègne is a major centre for higher education, with around 5,100 students. The University of Technology in Compiègne (UTC), the best general college of engineering (according to the Eduniversal 2018- 2019 ranking), and ESCOM (the higher school of organic and mineral chemistry) are major economic draws for the town and enhance its national and international reputation.

A land of remembrance

The town of Compiègne is a veritable open-air museum, with the Clairière de l’Armistice memorial, the internment and deportation memorial, the Saint-Corneille abbey, the churches of Saint-Jacques and Saint-Antoine, the King’s Grand Stables and the Gothic town hall. Since Merovingian times, many sovereigns wishing to hunt around Compiègne set up residences here. Louis XV, Napoleon Bonaparte and Napoleon III were instrumental in the construction of what is now the Imperial Palace. For the record, Coco Chanel stayed in Compiègne in a residence now located in the heart of the Parc de Bayser, in the Royallieu district. Barely 25 years old at the time, she fell in love with the owner of the premises, horse breeder Étienne Balsan.