Located 2 hours from Paris, 1 and a half hours from Brussels and 45 minutes from Lille, Denain is a land of contrasts. This green and blue town, packed with trees and crossed by the Scheldt Canal, is at the junction of a road and river network that puts it in a prime location in the heart of Hauts-de-France.

The former capital of coal and steel still boasts a rich architectural and historical heritage from its mining and industrial heyday, including a couple of UNESCO World Heritage sites. Its majestic Italian-style theatre is a 1/5 replica of the Opéra Garnier, while its festival hall stands as a symbol of the town’s prosperity and growth at the turn of the 20th century.

However, Denain’s greatest asset are its human values. Its sharp values were forged in the fires of industry: an appreciation of effort through work, solidarity in everyday life and respect for people of all origins and social status.

Numerous athletes have embodied this culture: Jean Degros, who won the 1965 top-tier French basketball league with Denain Voltaire, which now plays in the Pro B league; Fabien Gilot, a gold medallist in the 4x100 metre freestyle relay in the 2012 Olympic Games; the ladies of the Tennis Club de Denain, who claimed the French team championship in 2012 and 2014; and many others who continue to make Denain a hotspot of competitors and champions!

Cycling lovers also feel right at home. Since 1959, the town has played its part in the organisation of the Grand Prix de Denain, a UCI ProSeries bicycle race that never fails to attract famous pros and big crowds that really know their stuff when it comes to cycling. Furthermore, since 2018 it has been the only French race other than Paris-Roubaix to feature the cobbled sectors, so both Denain and its inhabitants are deeply honoured to host the start of the inaugural edition of the Women’s Paris-Roubaix!

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Scheldt Canal © Ville de Denain
Children at the finish of the Grand Prix de Denain © Ville de Denain
Municipal theatre © Ville de Denain
Statue of Marshal Villars © Ville de Denain