140KM | 2,600M+ · Sunday 27th August
The final day, but certainly not an easy one. Two significant climbs and a bunch of minor ones to drain your legs of the last vestiges of energy left after seven hard days cycling.
The work begins soon after leaving Morzine with the climb to the Col de l’Encrenaz (1,433m). Only 6km to climb, but 502m, meaning the average gradient is quite high at 8.4%. The first and last kilometres are at almost 11%. It’s a quiet, attractive road winding up through alpine pastures and then a forest.
A short descent brings us to a junction part way up to the Col de la Ramaz (1,619m), from the south. Expect several more long, steep pitches as the road zigs and zags sharply up the side of the mountain, in dark forest. The slope here is between 10% and 11%. If you can still appreciate such things, there’s a wonderful view from the summit.
Parts of the descent are steep and fast. From the bottom, there are still 65km to do, through some seriously hilly terrain…
The Col du Feu (1,117m) is short but steep: 3km at 9.5%. A short descent leads to the final col (if not quite the final climb) of the Haute Route Alps 2017: the Col des Moises (1,121m). Smaller than many others, there are still 8.5km to climb at 6.5%. Down the other side and it’s another 25km of up hill and down dale, round corners and through little villages until timing stops in Massongy.
We’ll then ride on to the lovely lakeside village of Yvoire to enjoy a well-earned beer and a bite to eat before the ceremonial parade into Geneva.
Stage description by Alpine Cols
Lying between the mountain chains of the Alps and the Jura, and along the pageful shores of Europe’s largest alpine lake, Geneva remains unspoilt but at the same time a cosmopolitan, global city which is home to many of the world’s international agencies and financial institutions. Catering for skiers in winter and sports enthusiasts in summer it is an all year destination and a perfect location as host city to the Haute Route Alps finish.