In 1980 Bernard Hinault won the World Championships held in Sallanches. The circuit course climbed (several times) a steep 2.5 kilometre little road above/through the village of Domancy. The stuff of legends. Fast forward to June 2106: last month the Côte de Domancy road was officially named Route Bernard Hinault.
Stage 18 of the 2016 Tour de France is a seventeen kilometre Time Trial course that includes the Route Bernard Hinault (aka: Côte de Domancy) as it climbs to Megève Ski Station. Here is a brief video preview of the course:
Biking in the Region?
Let me be frank: This is an absolutely lousy region for road cycling. And I’d include the entire valley up towards and past Chamonix. There are just too few paved roads, and they are busy. I cycled the TT route, and the Côte de Domancy is indeed fun, and the upper climb cleverly uses some quieter roads, but try constructing a long ride without traffic here – not easy. This beautiful region is for hiking, skiing, mountain climbing. Leave the road bike at home.
But here are a few very good mountain bike climb ideas:
- Aguille Croche via Col du Joly – super high, super scenic.
- Col de Véry via Col de Bassecombe – starts in Megève.
- Col du Jaillet – across from Megève.
- Col du Christ – above the Megève ski slopes
- Plaine Joux – (road bike) scenic views of Mont Blanc