145KM | 3,400M+ · Saturday 26th August
The stage begins by returning back down the road to Flumet, but instead of turning right to climb the col des Aravis, we will go straight on to the Balcons d’Arly and the descent to Ugine. This is a great road for cycling, climbing quite steeply at first and then following the contours high above the Arly valley before the sweeping descent.
A few kilometres of flat, probably on the cycle path, will bring us to Marlens and the Col de l’Epine (987m). This will seem easy after the previous days, it is only 7km at 7%...
There are several ups and downs through Serraval, Thônes and Saint-Jean-de-Sixt before we get to Le Grand Bornand and the second climb of the day, the Col de la Colombière (1,618m), thankfully from the easier side.
There are 713m to climb over 12.5km, in two parts, with a level section in the middle. The gradients are never excessive, apart from the final kilometre, which is at 9%. The summit scenery is magnificent, with impressive rocky cliffs where it is sometimes possible to see wild mountain ibex. The descent from the Colombière is very fast and very dangerous, especially near the top. It will probably be neutralised.
At the bottom we’ll cross the busy valley floor and climb the anecdotal Côte de Châtillon (741m), before a short descent and a long false flat to Samoëns.
Be ready for the final climb. It is not for nothing that the professionals consider the Col de Joux Plane (1,700m) to be the toughest climb in the northern Alps. Thankfully shorter than the Madeleine, it is equally unrelenting, but steeper.
The average gradient is almost 9%, and varies hardly at all. Beware the sting in the tail (or should I say cramps in the thighs)… after crossing the Col de Joux Plane there’s a short descent round the lake, and just when you think it is all over you are hit with the final climb to the Col de Ranfolly (1,655m).
The descent to Morzine is fast and technical.
Stage description by Alpine Cols
Morzine, A cycling Top Destination
Morzine is on of the best cycling destinations. Here are a few of the great reasons to choose Morzine for cycling:
• A cycling paradise internationally renowned thanks to having hosted 22 stages of the Tour de France.
• Infamous cols (Joux-Plane, Ramaz, Joux Verte…) and more than 25 passes located within 50 km, with cycling specific signposting providing information on: altitude, distance to the top, average incline of the coming kilometre.
• Cycling events for all
• An exceptional natural setting, with roads that take you through incredibly varied landscapes: green valleys, forests, mountain pastures, and along beautiful lakes and rivers…
• An authentic Savoyard village with its lively and welcoming atmosphere.
• Rich and varied tourism services and amenities: a 13,625m2 swimming complex, lakes, horse-riding centre, tree top adventure park, summer Alpine slide, tennis courts, hiking trails, Mountain biking, white water activities, guided tours, spa, daily entertainment throughout the high season…
• A wide range of “Accueil Velo” labelled accommodation providers
• A wide range of dedicated services: specialised shops, day-care centre, airport/station transfers, centralised booking centre…
Visit ASAP our brand new website dedicated to cyclists: www.morzinemountaincycling.com. Cycling lovers will find all the information regarding products and services in Morzine.
Want to learn more about cycling in Morzine? Watch out this video.