Stage 19: Bourg-d'Oisans to Le Grand-Bornand
LE BOURG D’OISANS TODAY
30 timed courses for amateur cyclists
L’Alpe dHuez climb, the course of La Marmotte Gran Fondo, all the Oisans mountain passes and climbs to the ski resorts are now equipped so that amateur riders can time their performances. The system allows cyclists to time themselves alone, by two or in groups on more than 30 itineraries and to be ranked in a general classification. Each course is equipped with a checkpoint activated by a chip identifying each rider. The chips, to be fixed on the bike or rider, can be hired in local tourist offices and are activated when the cyclist rides past start and finish flags.Chips can also be purchased for 26.50 euros annually and operate on all Timtoo Timing course in France, Italy and Switzerland. In the 30 courses in Oisans feature the climbs of L’Alpe d’Huez, Croix-de-Fer, Glandon, Lautaret, Galibier, Deux-Alpes or Col de Sarenne, that the Tour will ride for the first time in this edition.
LE BOURG D’OISANS AND CYCLING
For all the cyclists in the world, whatever their level, Bourg d’Oisans means the start of the climb up L’Alpe d’Huez. But Bourg d’Oisans was also often the start of stages validations or correcting the results at L’Alpe d’Huez. In 1952, for instance, Fausto Coppi took his overall lead at l’Alpe from five seconds to 20 minutes in a stage between Bourg d’Oisans and Sestriere. Irked by constant attacks, the “campionissimo” went solo on the Galibier never to be seen again. The Tour de France was over and organisers were even forced to double the bonus for the runner-up to maintain an interest until Paris.
PLACES TO SEE
Museum of minerals and wildlife
Set in the St Laurent church, the museum is a formidable place to discover the natural and cultural heritage of the Oisans Valley.
LE GRAND BORNAND TODAY
Lac du Maroly
The town of Le Grand Bornand created in 2007 a pond with the capacity to stock the totality of the water required to create artificial snow on the existing pistes and future ski tracks. The resort had been forced up to that date to empty three times per season the lake of La Cour in order to meet its needs in snow. From the Lac du Maroly water, 70 pc of the required snow can now be obtained to cover the resort skiing domain. The new reservoir, which required considerable works, is the largest for a ski resort in France. It can produce 1,200 m3 of water per hour, making it possible to spread one meter of snow on all the existing slopes in 80 hours.
LE GRAND BORNAND AND CYCLING
The Haute-Savoie resort first hosted the start of two Tour de France stages. In 1995, Swiss Alex Zueel found enough strength to win in La Plagne at the end of the day. In 1999, the peloton started from Le Grand Bornand heading for Sestriere. In 2007, stage honours went to young German Linus Gerdemann, who also took the yellow jersey lfor one day. In 2012, Le Grand Bornand also held a stage of the Tour de l’Avenir revealing one of the great hopes of French cycling, Warren Barguil.
PLACES TO SEE
Maison du patrimoine (House of local heritage) A restored 1830 farm, it displays the everyday life of a mountain village of Savoie through the course of time.
Art Vache Path Some 40 artworks representing cows are on display around the resort: sculptures, frescos, painters, tapestries.