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 the Hauts-de-France region. The ongoing revitalisation of the Pierre Blanches area unlocks the full potential of Denain as a trimodal hub.
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: first, an appreciation of effort through work, then, solidarity in everyday life, and finally, respect for people of all origins and social status.
Numerous athletes have embodied this state of mind: The legendary Jean Degros, Hervé Dubuisson and Valéry Demory from the Denain Voltaire basketball club, which now plays in the Pro B league; Fabien Gilot, a gold winner in the 4 × 100 metre freestyle relay at the 2012 Olympic Games; the ladies of the Tennis Club de Denain, who secured the French team championship in 2012 and 2014; and many others who continue to make Denain a hotspot of competitors!
The town boasts modern and attractive sports facilities such as the NaturéO water park, the Yannick Noah tennis center and the Bayard stadium. It received the "Ville active et sportive" label in 2022 and has also been named a "Terre de Jeux 2024", highlighting its ambition to be part of the adventure of the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Yet Denain is and has always been a land of cycling. The Grand Prix de Denain, a UCI ProSeries race first run in 1959, is an unmissable annual event that draws the best pro riders. Denain has also hosted the start of Paris–Roubaix Femmes since 2021. Starting from the Town Hall forecourt, the world's top female cyclists will do three laps around the city before taking the same route as their male counterparts.
Diversion for sector no. 17 (Hornaing) In Hornaing (km 62.2), continue on D81 towards Wandignies-Hamage and merge back onto the course at km 67.
Diversion for sector no. 13 (Orchies) At the exit from Orchies (km 84.6), continue on D938, drive over A23 and turn right onto D549. Merge back onto the course at km 89.4 (Auchy-lez-Orchies).
Diversion for sectors no. 11 and 10 (Mons-en-Pévèle) Right before cobbled sector no. 11 (km 96.8), continue straight ahead on D917 until Pont-à-Marcq. Merge back onto the course at km 104.8 (Pont-à-Marcq).
Diversion for sectors no. 7, 6, 5 and 4 (Cysoing) In Cysoing (km 118), go straight ahead at the traffic light and follow D90. Merge back onto the course at km 130.4 (exit from Carrefour de l'Arbre).