The first mountain stage of the 2010 Tour de France. This stage is an “amuse bouche” (appetizer) for the Alps.
You can clearly see in the map below that the route moves from flat terrain into the mountains. But the Alps are stage 8, these are the Jura mountains (think Jurassic).
The stage has six climbs, each a little harder than the previous. Nothing too steep, but almost 60 kilometres of categorized climbing – no joke. Once the hills arrive – it’s pretty much either up or down until the finish.
The route finishes in the department of Franche Comté. The neighboring department of l’Ain – think Tour de l’Ain – is full if huge Jura climbs including its share of Hors Categorie climbs. Click the Jura map at right for more details.
The highlight of the stage is definitely the final climb through the Gorges du Flumen and up Les Lacets (hairpins) de Septmoncel. Expect some nice helicopter shots.
The final climb finishes only 3 kilometres from the finish, with the last stretch being fairly flat. Expect fireworks.
With any luck I’ll be somewhere in the Gorges watching with friends – should be fun.
Les Rousses is a small ski station in the Jura mountains roughly an hour from Geneva. In addition to downhill, it also has over 100 kms of cross country skiing and various summer activities
For a preview of stage 8 click here – the first Alpine stage including Col de la Ramaz and Avroiaz.
Map by @ednl (thx!)