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TDAV Explore – Part 2 “The Alps
9 April 2020

The Tour de l’Avenir is the most international race for U23 riders, the one that reveals them. It is also an opportunity to discover the richness of French History and Heritage.

With a Grand Départ from the Grand Est to reach the Alps, the riders will take roads sadly famous for the various wars that France has known and then will reach the Alps mountains, a breathtaking scenery.

After discovering the Maurienne, “the largest cycling area in the world”, this second part will end in the Haute Tarentaise. These resorts are internationally renowned for the size of their ski areas but also for their summer activities which are family oriented and close to nature. Breathtaking landscapes will be crossed and the Col de l’Iseran will mark the summit of this 57th edition.

Stage 6 | Pontarlier – Col de la Faucille

>Pontarlier : Located at 837 m, Pontarlier is the 2nd highest town in France.
An ancient Gallo-Roman city, Pontarlier owes its development to its strategic location on the road linking Northern Europe to Italy via Besançon, the Jura mountains, Lausanne and the Alps. Bridge thrown over the Doubs at the outlet of a lock, the town was an essential passage for trade and invading armies.

Gastronomically speaking, the production of Comté cheese and salted meats (labelled products) are among the skills that the town values, as is the local aniseed aperitif, the “Pontarlier”, which succeeded absinthe (the “Green Fairy”), which was the town’s cradle for more than a century, from 1805 to 1915.

>The “Col de la Faucille” is an exceptional site for outdoor activities: sledge on rails, adventure course, mountain bike initiation, paintball, giant zip line (37%)… 20 minutes from Geneva. It is also the starting point of many hiking trails allowing the discovery of geology, flora and fauna.

>The pass is located in the Pays de Gex agglomeration. The Mountain at the gates of Geneva. A land of contrasts from the Jura mountains to the shores of Lake Geneva, the Pays de Gex is a “breath of fresh air”.

On the plains, you will find the dynamism and openness that characterize the shores of Lake Geneva: visit Voltaire’s castle, explore Fort l’Écluse and discover CERN…
On the mountain side, the high Jura mountain range and the Valserine valley offer exceptional panoramas: it is impossible not to be captivated by the view of Mont Blanc and Lake Geneva from Mont Rond!

Stage 7 | Saint-Maurice-de-Rémens – Saint-Vulbas.

>Saint-Maurice-de-Rémens is a small commune of the Communauté de Communes de la Plaine de l’Ain famous for its 18th century castle. The Château de Saint-Maurice-de-Rémens is also nicknamed “Château du Petit Prince” or “Château de Saint Ex” because of the link between the building and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Officiel. The author lived in what was a family property for much of his childhood.

>Ville de Saint-Vulbas is located east of Lyon, on the banks of the Rhône, in a green setting that was once the seat of a major Gallo-Roman settlement. The village was a site where there was a strong presence of water springs which earned Saint-Vulbas the revolutionary name of Claire Fontaine. Several traces of thermal installations remain.

The Vulbas marble tomb, classified as a historical monument on 5 October 1920, is preserved in the church of Saint Vulbas. Vulbas was governor of Burgundy and served in King Dagobert’s army.

Today, Saint-Vulbas is one of the most active communes in the Auvergne Rhône Alpes region in terms of employment and economy.

Stage 8a | La Chambre – Saint François Longchamp (CLM individuel)
Stage 8b | La Tour-en-Maurienne – Saint-Jean-d’Arves

Two half-stages will be on the program of the first day in Savoie Mont Blanc with a timed ascent in the morning (Col de la Madeleine) & a mountainous stage in the afternoon. La Maurienne, “the World’s Largest Cycling Domain”.

>Saint François Longchamp is the first Maurienne resort in terms of access. In winter it offers visitors a beautiful ski area with 165 km of slopes and becomes, among other things, a land of cycling in summer thanks to the mythical Col de la Madeleine which offers a unique 360° view of the surrounding peaks: Mont-Blanc, Etendard glacier, aiguilles d’Arves, Cheval Noir.

>La Tour-en-Maurienne is a recent commune (2019) resulting from the merger of the communes of Châtel, Hermillon and Pontamafrey-Montpascal.

>On the stage: the laces of Montvernier. These 18 small laces, stacked one on top of the other, clinging to the mountain, make up one of the most spectacular roads in Savoie. No less than 6 years of work, between 1928 and 1934, were necessary to overcome nearly 400 m of difference in altitude to link the Arc valley to the village of Montvernier.

>Saint Jean d’Arves – Les Sybelles, a mountain village resort where agriculture, traditions and know-how are honoured throughout the year: Foire aux Bestiaux, Traites en alpage, Fête du mouton, Fête des foins… Located in Beaufort territory, the milk from the cows of the farmers of Saint Jean d’Arves is collected every day to make the wheels of this typical cheese of the region.

Stage 9 | Saint Michel de Maurienne – Bourg-Saint-Maurice / Les Arcs 1800

>Ville de Saint Michel de Maurienne: cups, engravings, dolmen are to be discovered on the two archaeological paths of the village of Le Thyl.

Because of its strategic position, Saint Michel de Maurienne was one of the most important communities belonging to the Count of Savoy. La Tour Ronde, the central part of a medieval castle, overlooks the old town. The church of the village of Beaune is the Baroque jewel of St Michel.

>Riders will have to cross the Col de l’Iseran, which peaks at an altitude of 2,764m. It is the first road pass in the Alps by its altitude. Due to an icy road, the riders of the 2018 peloton were unable to cross this mythical summit.

>Bourg-Saint-Maurice Les Arcs 1800, final finish of the 57th Tour de l’Avenir. At the gateway to the Haute Tarentaise and the Mont Blanc massif, Bourg Saint Maurice, on the edge of the Vanoise National Park, the first national park created in France in 1963, enjoys international renown all year round. An exceptional base camp, Bourg Saint Maurice is only 7 minutes away from the resort of Les Arcs, thanks to the funicular, an exclusivity which allows it to boast of being the only French resort linked to the European capitals!

>Les Arcs is 4 high altitude sites with different atmospheres (Arc 1600, Arc 1800, Arc 1950 Le Village and Arc 2000). A resort that lives to the rhythm of nature through a multitude of outdoor sports and leisure activities in summer (golf, bike park, hiking, tennis, circus, climbing, zumba, swimming pool, trail, archery, mountain kart…) in summer and winter (linked to the “Paradiski”, with its 425 km of slopes, more than 70% of which are above 2000m altitude).

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