Notre-Dame des Cyclistes, the memory of cycling

Located in the commune of Labastide-d'Armagnac, the former Géou chapel was restored to become the "Notre-Dame des Cyclistes" shrine on May 18, 1959. A veritable cycling museum.
Following the example of the Madonna del Ghisallo, the Italian chapel consecrated "Universal Patroness of Cyclists" by Pope Pius XII in 1948, the parish priest of the time turned it into a place dedicated to cycling.
The 10th-century chapel was listed as a historic monument on February 27, 1996.
On August 22, 1958, Abbé Joseph Massie, parish priest for Créon-d'Armagnac, Mauvezin-d'Armagnac and Lagrange, was due to come and say mass for the children from the summer camp. It rained, and it was decided to celebrate mass in the Géou chapel.
On leaving the service, Abbé Joseph Massie, looking back towards the place of worship, and Abbé Michel Busquet, then a young seminarian of 18, now his successor since his death in December 1999, had this to say: "I had an idea... it would be nice if we made a chapel here for cyclists, like in Italy!"
On May 18, 1959, Pope John XXIII granted Abbé Massie's wish, making the old chapel the Sanctuaire National du Cyclisme et du Cyclotourisme under the protection of the Virgin Mary: "Notre-Dame des Cyclistes".
Since then, a mass has been celebrated for cyclists every Whit Monday.

On July 9, 1989, a stage even started from Labastide-d'Armagnac.
Some of cycling's greatest champions have laid down their jerseys here: André Darrigade, Jacques Anquetil, Louison Bobet, Roger Lapébie, Tom Simpson, Jean Stablinski, Bernard Hinault, Raymond Poulidor, Eddy Merckx...
The jersey of Luis Ocaña, who used to live next door to the chapel, also features prominently.
Following the UCI's decision to strip him of all his titles, Lance Armstrong's jersey was withdrawn at the end of 2012. 

Notre-Dame des Cyclistes, memory of cycling at Stéphane Bern's HeritageThe Grande boucle has paid tribute to Notre-Dame des Cyclistes on several occasions:

- 1984: Passage in honor of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the chapel's consecration.
- 1989: Start of the eighth stage from La Bastide d'Armagnac to Pau on July 09.
- 1995: Passage in tribute to Luis Ocaña.
- 2000: Passage in tribute to Abbé Joseph Massie, founder of Notre-Dame des Cyclistes.
- 2017: Passage on Wednesday, July 12, during the eleventh stage: Eymet-Pau, 205 km.

This year, the Grande Boucle will stop again at Notre-Dame des Cyclistes on July 04, 2023, during stage n°4 Dax-Nogaro, with an intermediate sprint at the chapel.

 

Friends of Notre Dame des Cyclistes
Maison de la Culture
Place Royale
40240 La Bastide d'Armagnac
Tel: 05 58 44 67 56 (Maison de la Culture)
and 05 58 44 86 46 (Claude Nadeau, HR)


notredamedescyclistes@gmail.com

 

http://www.notredamedescyclistes.net/

 

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