Western Switzerland & Le Tour

Dec / 7 / 2015

The western part of Switzerland feature some of the best climbs in the country, without the heavy summer holiday traffic that you will encounter on most of the better known roads in the Alps

Tour highlights

  • 16-24 July 2016
  • Watch two stage finishes of the Tour de France in Bern (July 18) and Finhaut/Emosson (July 20)
  • Ride Every Kilometre of stage 17 of the Tour on July 19, the day before the race: Bern-Finhaut/Emosson (184 km)
  • 5 nights in Villars, home of Grand Tours Project. Either in a hotel, or in a big chalet with a cook

July 16: welcome to Switzerland

  • Arrival in Geneva
  • Shuttle to Villars, a ski resort in the French speaking part of Switzerland which is the home of Grand Tours Project
  • Optional: short ride around Villars in Alain’s backyard
  • Stay in Villars

Last day of an amazing indian summer in the Swiss Alps. Next time I will be here will be on skis

A photo posted by A Swiss With A Pulse (@aswisswithapulse) on

July 17: Cheeseland!

  • Villars-Gruyères via Col de la Croix, Col du Pillon and Mittelbergpass (85km, 1800m climbing)
  • 3 passes on very quiet roads
  • Stay in Gruyères, home of the most famous Swiss cheese
  • And of course, cheese fondue for dinner
Route 3,348,225 - powered by www.bikemap.net

Top of Mittelbergpass, a #hiddengem between Jaun and Saanen

A photo posted by A Swiss With A Pulse (@aswisswithapulse) on

July 18: the amazing Swiss bike routes

  • Morning: Gruyères-Bern via the incredibly quiet and scenic Swiss bike routes (70km, 800m climbing)
  • Afternoon: watch the finish of the Tour stage in Bern
  • Stay in/near Bern, the capital city of Switzerland
  • Option to organise an activity with a team (Orica-GreenEdge?)

July 19: Cycle Every Kilometre of stage 17 of Le Tour

  • On the tour rest day, we ride the exact course of the next day’s stage: Berne - Finhaut-Emosson, 184 km over Saanemöser, Col des Mosses, Col de la Forclaz and the summit finish in Finhaut-Emosson
  • Note: Emosson is the climb where the Panda cheered on Chris Froome and Alberto Contador at the 2014 Critérium du Dauphiné
  • Stay in Villars or closer to Finhaut: Chamonix or near Martigny (tbd)

The Tour of Beijing Panda left its natural habitat for a day at the Dauphine. Here are some pictures.

Posted by Tour of Beijing on Saturday, June 14, 2014

July 20: watch Le Tour

  • Ride towards Finhaut/Emosson and watch the Tour from the roadside
  • Km and climbing tbd, depending on where we stay the night before. Likely >100km and around
  • It is going to be a huge party - and most probably a big, joyful mess
  • Ride back down to the valley and stay in Villars

July 21: the best (not quite) dead end road in Switzerland

  • Alain’s favorite loop in the world includes the col du Sanetsch. With 1,690m of climbing over 25km, it is the Swiss equivalent of Passo Stelvio, without the traffic. Why? it is a dead end. Well, not quite…
  • Once at the top, you descend to a beautiful Alpine lake where you reach the end of the road and the cable car. The cable car will to take you down to Gsteig, near the famous resort of Gstaad
  • Then we ride back to Villars over col du Pillon and col de la Croix. A big day: 130km and 3200m of climbing
  • Mandatory viewing before the tour: this incredible set by Jered and Ashley Gruber on the Sanetsch

Today I paid my annual tribute to my favorite climb in the world

A photo posted by A Swiss With A Pulse (@aswisswithapulse) on

July 22: the secret road

  • Today’s climb is not as big as col du Sanetsch, but it is… secret. It’s officially closed to traffic and is only known by the locals
  • It will take us to the ski resort of the Portes du Soleil on the other side of the Rhone Valley
  • We ride back to Villars via the climb where Chris Froome dropped Vincenzo Nibali on the 2014 Tour de Romandie

Autumn ride

A photo posted by A Swiss With A Pulse (@aswisswithapulse) on

July 23: more mountains, with a view

  • Legs are tired, but we can’t get enough of the wonderful Swiss roads. For our last day, we ride on a military road to the best viewpoint on Lake Geneva, one of the largest lakes in Western Europe
  • We then ride down to the Rhone Valley and come back to Villars via yet another road.
  • 91km for 2200m of climbing
Route 3 348 379 - powered by www.bikemap.net

Beware of tanks when you ride in #Switzerland

A photo posted by A Swiss With A Pulse (@aswisswithapulse) on

A ride with a view

A photo posted by A Swiss With A Pulse (@aswisswithapulse) on

July 24: goodbye paradise

  • Time to go home for the survivors
  • Wait, maybe we can squeeze in one last short ride in Villars before heading back to Geneva...

Lunch ride with a view

A photo posted by A Swiss With A Pulse (@aswisswithapulse) on