Saturday, 23 July
Morzine: the destination of stage 20 of the Tour de France. The end is near, but first, the peloton have to climb the Col de Joux Plane. The riders will know that this will be their final push and their final huge effort up this notoriously steep monstrous climb for the final race for the yellow jersey. The Tour de France will go up the Col for the 12th time this year after a ten year long break from the Mountain. They will return to tackle this beast of a climb which will take them approximately 45 minutes to complete, and after a long sustained effort it is rewarded by small picturesque étang’s followed by an exhilarating fast 12 km decent to the finish.
If you are thinking you would like to take this beast on then be prepared; it’s not one for the faint hearted. The 11.7km long mountain is 1700m high and has an average gradient of 8.5% – eye watering indeed.
About the Area
Morzine is a commune with several nearby villages such as Les Gets, Saint Jean d’Aulps, Avoriaz and Chatel to name a few. This is certainly a great place to host a stage finish. For spectators it’s a perfect location to stay and enjoy the atmosphere and hype around the Tour as the penultimate stage of the biggest race in the cycling calendar closes, and the race for the yellow jersey concludes. The village will be draped with polka-dot decor to represent the classic Tour de France colours and generate a celebratory Tour spirit.
One of the neighbouring villages with countless interesting activities on offer, and plenty of sites to see is Chatel. With a selection of trails, the area is very popular with mountain bikers. The Alpine roads and magnificent scenery, such as Lake Geneva only a short bike ride away, makes this a hive for road cyclists – Team Sky have been spotted training in the area a few times! If this sounds like a lot of hard work and not enough fun, check out Chatel’s massive zip wire; an adrenaline junkie’s dream! Speeds of the zip wire reach over 100 km per hour between two mountains.
The town of Avoriaz is completely pedestrianized, making for a very stress free, family friendly town. It is home to the famous Hotel des Dromonts – a building with no right angles with a design so iconic that at the time it set a trend for the rest of Avoriaz. In the 20th century it was given a prize by the French minister for a great heritage achievement. Its plush rooms come with all the mod cons and luxury living such as flat-screen TVs and snow-capped mountain views. After whatever the village has brought to you, you can be assured to be treated well with steam rooms, saunas and hot tubs whilst sipping a glass of the best French wine.
By day or night, join in with like-minded individuals, couples and families in local restaurants and be tempted by the tantalising Mountain favourites like Tartiflette, fondue and Raclette.