A guide to the Tour de France
Lake Annecy, by Hedgehog Cycling
What happened on the Stage. These are the video highlights:
Read the Hedgehog Stage 10 diary.
Stage 10 of the Tour de France 2018 is 158.5km from Annecy to le Grand Bornand. This Alpine stage includes climbs of the Col de Bluffy, the Col de la Croix Fry, the plateau de Glières, the Col de Romme, and the Col de la Colombière. It is rounded off with a descent to the finish at le Grand Bornand.
The route of Stage 10 is also the route of the 2018 Etape du Tour sportive.
La Course by Le Tour de France, the women's event linked to the Tour de France, is being held over a 118km route which covers much of the men's Stage 10, including the Col de Romme and the Col de la Colombière. The finish is in le Grand Bornand.
Read about Stage 10 of the Tour de France 2018 here.
|Climbs||Col de Bluffy (Category 4)
Col de la Croix Fry (Category 1)
Montée du plateau de Glières (hors catégorie)
Col de Romme (Category 1)
Col de la Colombière (Category 1)
This is the official map of Stage 10.
The official Tour de France stage profile for Stage 10:
Profile of Stage 10, Tour de France 2018, ©ASO/Tour de France organisers
This video of the route has been produced for the Etape du Tour:
Tuesday 17th July 2018, after a rest day on Monday.
The publicity caravan sets off from Annecy at 1115, and the peloton at 1315. The projected average speeds are 34, 36, and 38kmh, and depending on which is the most accurate, the riders will arrive at the finish line in le Grand Bornand between 1742 and 1815.
Mavic has produced this route reconnaissance video:
Mark Cavendish looks forward to the Tour de France for the BBC, and names his 'one to watch' - his prediction for the stage win.
'A mountain stage is always difficult after a rest day. Your body goes into recovery mode, trying to store water. You can feel a bit flat, and that's not nice when you have five categorised climbs to contend with - three category one, and one HC.
It's going to be the first fight between the general classification guys, but I don't see it playing a big factor in the overall result at this stage of the race.
You won't see fireworks until 121km into the stage, at the start of the difficult climb of the Col de Romme. Team Sky usually like to put their marker on the first mountain stage of the Tour de Fance, and if it's not Chris Froome, it's likely to be Geraint Thomas or Michal Kwiatkowski.'
His one to watch? Geraint Thomas.
The riders leave Annecy heading south, along the shore of Lake Annecy. This first part of the route is flat. It goes through Sévrier, Saint Jorioz (home to the Musée Paccard, a bell museum and foundry), and Duingt (with the Château de Duingt or Château Ruphy on a little island just off the point of the shore).
The départ réel, where the flag goes down and the racing starts, is just after Duingt. The route soon reaches the southern end of the lake, Bout du Lac, at Doussard.
(Bout du Lac is a marshy area where the Eau Morte and the Ire run into Lake Annecy. It is a nature reserve. The reeds are a favourable habitat for invertebrates and fish, as well as many different species of birds, the common toad, and the European beaver).
The race now heads up the far (eastern) side of the lake to Talloires.
Le Père Bise, Talloires, by HedgehogCycling
Leaving Talloires, the road climbs for 1.5km, with sections at 8%. This is the Côte de Talloires, and after an easy warm-up around the lake, it's the first little test of the legs. Just beyond Talloires, the Stage 10 route reaches Menthon-Saint-Bernard.
Stage 10 then leaves Lake Annecy, and climbs the Col de Bluffy. This first categorised ascent of the day is Category 4: from Menthon-Saint-Bernard, it's 1.5km at 5.6%, reaching an altitude of 622m at the top.
The route continues along the valley of the river Fier to Thônes (601m), location of the day's intermediate sprint.
Soon after Thônes is the start of the second categorised climb of the day, the Col de la Croix Fry (Category 1), which is 1,477m at the top. According to Alpine Cols, the second part of the climb is tougher than the first. 'After Manigod, you are treated to 2km at over 9%, before the road relents a little, varying between 6% and 8% all the way to the welcome café at the summit.' Alpine Cols also have a 12-minute video of the climb.
The Tour de France organisers have this col as 11.3km at 7% average gradient.
La Clusaz, by Hedgehog Cycling
From La Clusaz, the riders continue to Saint-Jean-de-Sixt, then they follow the D12 slightly downhill, through a narrow section of the Borne valley (les Etroits), to Entremont.
Shortly after Entremont, they reach the turn onto the route des Glières. This is the next climb, the montée du plateau des Glières, and it is hors catégorie. Alpes4ever says the hardest part is the 6.3km section at 11% as far as a café called Chez la Jode.
Profile of the climb to the Plateau des Glières, © ASO/Tour de France
After the summit of the categorised climb, there's 2km of rough stone road. According to France TV Info, it gives a taste of the Tour de France in the 1950s.
The plateau is a roughly flat area at around 1,450m, with limestone cliffs rising either side, and the Montagne de Sous-Dine (2004m) up to the right. It is used for cross-country skiing in the winter, but is more famous for its role as home to Maquis, or resistance fighters, during World War II. There was a parachute drop of arms by the British in January 1944, and the Battle of Glières between the Maquis and German forces, which left 121 resistance fighters dead.
The sculpture, which is a monument to the resistance fighters who died, was inaugurated in 1973, and shows a hand holding a sun.
There's a twisting descent from the plateau des Glières to Thorens-Glières. (Francois de Sales was born in the château here - he was later Bishop of Annecy. Cavour - Prime Minister of Piedmont and instrumental in unifying Italy in 1860 - holidayed here).
The road rises from Thorens-Glières to the Col des Fleuries (5.6km at 4.5%, summit at 930m). According to Jean-Lou Paiani, it isn't very difficult, but nevertheless you have to manage your effort, and keep some energy for the end of the stage. The route then descends to la Roche-sur-Foron.
It continues to Bonneville (452m), a town on the river Arve. (The Arve runs from Chamonix down to Geneva). After Bonneville, the road is relatively flat as far as Scionzier (491m), then the next climb begins - the Col de Romme (1,297m).
Alpine Cols describes the climb to the Col de Romme as 'easily one of the toughest in Haute Savoie', averaging 8.8% all the way. Jean-Lou Paiani, reporting on a reconnaissance of Stage 10, calls it the biggest difficulty on the route. 'Signs each kilometre tell you how far it is to the summit, and the incline of the next section. At the first hairpin to the right, you find yourself looking over a steep edge. The col becomes vertiginous...difficult to keep one's rhythm. The little village of Nancy-sur-Cluses is welcome, because it gives you 500m of respite (only 6%), and there's a drinking fountain so you can re-fill your water bottles for the end of the stage.'
Profile of the Col de Romme & Col de la Colombière, © ASO/Tour de France
From the Col de Romme, there's a descent to le Reposoir (1,065m).
(Le Reposoir is a village on a stream called le Foron du Reposoir (a minor tributary of the river Arve). There was little here before Carthusian monks arrived in 1151. They called the place le Reposoir, meaning a place of rest for the soul. The Carthusians were expelled in 1901, and the monastery was abandoned for some years. It became a Carmelite monastery in 1922).
The descent to le Reposoir is quickly followed by the final climb to the Col de la Colombière (Category 1).
Alpine Cols says of the ascent from Le Reposoir, 'the sharply steeper road takes a few loops to gain height quickly, and then clings to the NW side of the valley, climbing steadily. With 4km to go it rounds a shoulder and the vista opens up to reveal the distant summit. The chalet is clearly visible as one climbs in low gear up the 9% and 10% grade.' Jean-Lou Paiani says that this side is more difficult than the other side, that was used for the 2016 Etape du Tour between Megève and Morzine.
The height at the top is 1,618m.
Mairie, le Grand Bornand, by Hedgehog Cycling
There's a descent to finish - from the Col de la Colombière (1,613m) to le Grand Bornand in the valley (923m). Paiani says that the descent is not technical, and is very pleasant at this point in the day.
Le Grand Bornand, by HedgehogCycling
The finish of the stage is at le Grand Bornand. Arriving in the village, the route takes the D4 south west, crosses le Borne, and heads back north east on the route des Pochons on the other side of the stream. The finish line is just after the campsite l'Escale, on the route de la Patinoire.
Profile of the last kilometre of Stage 10, Tour de France 2018, © ASO/Tour de France
The favourites for the stage win include those riders who are good enough at climbing to be in the front group at the top of the Col de la Colombière, and sufficiently accomplished descenders to leave their rivals behind on the swoop down to le Grand Bornand.
It's not impossible that a non-GC contender like Rafal Majka could win here. Of the GC riders, Chris Froome and Vincenzo Nibali are possible Stage 10 winners. However, perhaps the best candidate for the win is Romain Bardet.
Stage 11 of the Tour de France 2018 is 108km from Albertville to la Rosière Espace San Bernado.
Read about Stage 11 of the 2018 Tour de France.
Annecy is a historic town on the shore of Lake Annecy, in the Haute Savoie département of France. It has a population of about 52,000. It is sometimes called 'the Venice of the Alps', because two canals and the little river Thiou run through it.
There was a Roman settlement at what is now the adjacent town of Annecy-le-Vieux (not to be confused with the historic centre of Annecy, known as Vieil Annecy).
Annecy was one of the residences of the Counts of Geneva from the C10th. It passed to the counts of Savoy in 1401.
When the Protestant faith spread through the region, Annecy was a centre of the Catholic counter-Reformation. The old Bishopric of Geneva was transferred to Annecy in 1535. Francois de Sales was a celebrated bishop of Annecy from 1602 to 1622.
At the time of the French Revolution, Annecy was conquered and became part of France. It was returned to the House of Savoy after the defeat of Napoleon (1815), then became part of France for good under Napoleon III in 1860.
One of the historic buildings in the centre of Annecy is the Palais de l'Isle. It is a Medieval building which dates from around 1325, and has served as a fortress, a prison, a courthouse, and a mint. Today, it houses a local history museum.
Parts of the Château d'Annecy (in particular la Tour de la Reine) date from the 1200s. The château was the home of the Counts of Geneva, and now houses l'Observatoire Régional des Lacs Alpins (Regional Observatory of Alpine Lakes).
In the 1800s, Annecy manufactured linen, glass, cutlery, and leather. Later, paper was also made here, there was a bell foundry at Annecy-le-Vieux, and Salomon skis had a factory near the lake.
Today, tourism and services are the largest part of the local economy.
Lake Annecy, by HedgehogCycling
Lake Annecy (le Lac d'Annecy, or 'le lac bleu') is 14.6km long, and has a circumference of around 38km. It's not the biggest lake in France, as it's smaller than the Lac du Bourget, but it's the most beautiful.
The lake formed about 30,000 years ago, at a time when great Alpine glaciers were melting.
The lake is supplied with water by seven streams, and by a powerful underwater spring called the Boubioz. Water runs out of the north end of the lake, into the Thiou, which becomes the Fier, which in turn flows into the Rhone. It takes 4 years for all the water in the lake to be replaced.
The average depth of Lake Annecy is 41.5m, and it's 81m down to the deepest point. The water temperature gets up to 22C in July.
The lake narrows to 800m between Talloires and Duingt. To the north of that point is what's known as the Grand Lac, which has shallower shores dotted with villages and vineyards; to the south is the Petit Lac, with steep, wooded slopes.
In the 1950s, Lake Annecy became quite polluted, particularly from sewage from the surrounding hotels. A decision was made to treat all sewage properly, and in 1957, a filtering plant was built at Cran. This helped the lake water to regain its purity, and over the space of 20 years, the depth of visibility increased from 4.6 to 8m. The level of nitrates in the lake water is particularly low.
Activities on and in the lake include boating, rowing, sailing, swimming, fishing, diving, windsurfing, and water skiing. The Fête du Lac, with fireworks, takes place on the first Saturday in August.
Mark Twain wrote of Lake Annecy, 'It is a revelation. It is a miracle. It brings the tears to a body's eyes it is so enchanting. That is to say, it affects you just as all things that you instantly recognize as perfect affect you - perfect music, perfect eloquence, perfect art, perfect joy, perfect grief. It stretches itself out there in the caressing sunlight, and away towards its border of majestic mountains, a crisped and radiant plain of water of the divinest blue that can be imagined. All the blues are there, from the faintest shoal water suggestion of the color, detectable only in the shadow of some overhanging object, all the way through, a little blue and a little bluer still, and again a shade bluer till you strike the deep, rich Mediterranean splendor which breaks the heart in your bosom, it is so beautiful.
And the mountains, as you skim along on the steamboat, how stately their forms, how noble their proportions, how green their velvet slopes, how soft the mottlings of sun and shadow that play about the rocky ramparts that crown them, how opaline the vast upheavals of snow banked against the sky in the remoteness beyond - Mont Blanc and others - how shall anybody describe? Why, not even a painter can quite do it, and the most the pen can do is to suggest.'
L'Abbaye, Talloires, by HedgehogCycling
Talloires is on the east side of Lake Annecy, below the rocky peaks of the Dents de Lanfon.
The origin of the name Talloires is unknown, but the settlement is first mentioned in documents in the 800s. In 1018, it was given by Rudolph III of Burgundy to the monks of Savigny. The first prior of the Abbey, Germain de Talloires, lived as a hermit from 1033 to 1060, in a cave above the town. The Ermitage de St Germain is built on the approximate site of the cave.
The Abbey buildings were burned by French Revolutionaries in 1792, and later rebuilt. L'Abbaye is now a hotel, which has hosted a number of well-known guests including Mark Twain, Winston Churchill, and Richard Nixon. Twain said of the two women who had the Abbey then, 'They fed us well, they slept us well, and I wish I could have staid there a few years and got a solid rest.'
The chemist Claude Louis Berthollet (1748-1822) was born in Talloires. He discovered the composition of bleach.
Paul Cézanne painted Le Lac Bleu at Talloires. The work is in the Cortauld Institute in London.
Le Père Bise, Talloires, by HedgehogCycling
Menthon-Saint-Bernard is a little town on the shore of Lake Annecy, just north of the Roc de Chère, and at the foot of the dents de Lanfon.
This area was in the territory of the Allobroges people, before the Romans arrived in the C2nd BC.
Saint Bernard of Menthon was born in the château here, around 923. He is famous for founding the hospices which served as refuges for travellers over the Grand and Petit Saint-Bernard passes. The dogs, which were used by the canons who ran the hospices to search for travellers lost in the snow, take their name from Bernard of Menthon. They are Saint-Bernard dogs.
The current Menthon family arrived here from Bourgogne around 1190. They are still owners of the château, which dates from the C13th. (It replaced an earlier castle).
Thônes is a town at the junction between the Nom and Fier valleys.
It developed as an agricultural centre, with fairs and markets held from the 1300s. It was known for its resistance during World War II, especially from May 1942 onwards.
Today, the economy of Thônes is based on tourism, especially in the winter. It is still an agricultural centre too - associated with Reblochon cheese. Reblochon originated in this area in the C13th, and it was produced in a clandestine way. Farmers who rented fields from a landowner had to pay a sum proportionate to the amount of milk produced. On the day the landowner came to verify the quantity of milk produced, the farmer would only partly milk the cows, then finish milking after the owner had left. They made Reblochon cheese from the milk produced by the second milking. 'Reblocher' means to pinch a cow's udder again.
La Clusaz, by HedgehogCycling
La Clusaz is a village and ski resort in the Aravis mountains. The name La Clusaz means 'narrow or closed valley between two mountains'. At one time, the village was called Clusa Locus Dei, or 'God's narrow place between two mountains', a name given to it by the Abbaye de Talloires, which owned La Clusaz.
The road to La Clusaz, from Annecy and Thônes, was opened in 1902, and this allowed it to become a summer and winter resort. The first cable car was built in 1956. Famous freestyle and freeride skier Candide Thovex is from La Clusaz. There's walking and mountain biking in the summer. La Clusaz hosted World Cup parapente events in 2001 and 2003.
Mairie, le Grand Bornand, by Hedgehog Cycling
Le Grand Bornand is a village and ski resort in a valley between the Chaine des Aravis to the south east and the Massif des Bornes to the north and west. It's at an altitude of 952m, and there are two télécabines out of the village itself; more lifts serve the main related ski resort, Le Grand Bornand Chinaillon, at 1300m. Ski racer Tessa Worley comes from le Grand Bornand.
The name Bornand probably comes from the Borne stream, which runs down Vallée du Bouchet from the Pointe Percée to le Grand Bornand, plus nand or nant, meaning valley.
There are about 60 farms in the commune, and the principal product is Reblochon cheese.
A traditional chalet in le Grand Bornand has a stone-built lower storey, and the top of the building is wooden. Each chalet has its own mazot, a smaller wooden building without windows, used for storing ham, cereals, and jams.
This video shows the finish of Stage 17 of the 2004 Tour de France in le Grand Bornand:
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