Today we will catch the Tour on Col de Vars, a picturesque climb, unlike the peloton we get to enjoy the scenery.
Col du Vars or a stage start
Today, you have a two options from which you can choose. We’ll have the opportunity to see more stage starts later in the week, but you’re welcome to go to today’s stage as it is in a beautiful setting on Lac de Serre-Ponçon. Our main option however, is catching up the with the race as they go over one of the climbs, not far from our hotel. Col de Vars is a picturesque climb, unlike the peloton we get to enjoy the scenery.
Officially 14.7 km long, it is a steady incline for the first 9 km, before the road steepens for the final 5 km. It is on this final stretch that will provide us with great theatre this afternoon as there will be two distinct races today – one for polka dots and the main event for yellow.
After we watch the race pass, we can descend off the mountain and meet up with our transport to take us further north. Our hotel for the next 3 nights is a 4-star hotel and is a short walk from the old town of Chambéry. This is the heart of Savoie home of the medieval Castle of its Dukes. Cheese, white wines and cream dishes are what savoyard cuisine is famous for. There are many restaurants for you to choose from this evening.
TODAY IN THE RACE
Stage 18: Embrun to Valloire, Mountain, 207 km
Touted as the biggest alpine stage of the tour, the route along Grandes Alpes features 2 hors categorie and a categorie 1 climb. The familiar names of Col d’Izoard and Col du Galibier sore above 2,000m. Climbers will be eyeing off this stage and the competition for polka-dots as well as the yellow jersey will go to a new level. After the descent off Galibier, victory at the finish will require some risk-taking.