A guide to the Tour de France
A guide to Stage 16 of the Tour de France 2016. Stage 16 of the 2016 Tour is 209km from Moirans-en-Montagne to Bern, via Soucia, Clairvaux-les-Lacs, Charcier, Pont-du-Navoy, Champagnole, Censeau, Bonnevaux, Malbuisson, les Verrières-de-Joux, Brot-Dessous, Rochefort, Colombier, Neuchâtel, Kerzers, Frauenkappelen, and Kœniz. The intermediate sprint is at Ins/Anet, after 167.5km. There's just one categorised climb, the Côte de Mühleberg (Category 4), 25km from the end. The stage is classified as flat. Read about Stage 16 of the Tour de France 2016 here.
Read the Stage 16 race report.
|Sprints||Ins/Anet (after 167.5km)|
Côte de Mühleberg (Category 4)
This is the official Tour de France stage profile for Stage 16:
Stage 16 profile, © A.S.O. Tour de France organisers
These are some of the Stage 16 timings (based on the medium estimated speed of 42kmh):
|Départ fictif in Moirans-en-Montagne||1240|
|183.5||Côte de Mühleberg (Category 4)||1717|
|209||Finish at Bern||1753|
See the full timings for Stage 16 on the Tour de France website, based on average speeds of 44, 42, and 40kmh.
Stage 16 starts in Moirans-en-Montagne, a village in the Jura département, known for making wooden toys.
LeTourJura has information about the 2016 Tour de France in the Jura département. The départ fictif is at 1240, at the Sports Hall in Moirans-en-Montagne. The riders roll out of town on route de la Grange au Gui, route de Saint-Laurent, rue Voltaire, avenue Jean Jaurès, place de la Poste, rue Pasteur, rue Roussin, avenue du Franche-Comté, route du Hangar/D296, route de l'Etang to Crenans, route de la Petite Croix/D331 to Charchilla, and then the D470. The départ réel is on the D470 after Charchilla, at 1255.
This OpenStreetMap shows Moirans-en-Montagne.
This map shows the first part of the route on Stage 16:
The flag goes down and the racing starts on the D470 between Charchilla and Meussia. At Meussia, the route forks right on the D27, which takes the riders north to Soucia, then past the rather unimaginatively-named Petit Lac and Grand Lac, to Clairvaux-les-Lacs.
This map shows the route between Clairvaux-les-Lacs and Pont-du-Navoy:
From Clairvaux, the riders continue north via the villages of Boissia and Charcier. They cross the Hérisson river (which translates as the Hedgehog river, and has a series of waterfalls called les Cascades du Hérisson) to reach Doucier.
Straight after Doucier comes the Lac de Chalain then, following the river Ain north, the villages of Marigny, Montigny-sur-l'Ain, and Pont-du-Navoy.
This map shows the route between Pont-du-Navoy and Censeau:
The route is on the D471 out of Champagnole, via Equvillon, Charbonny (meaning 'place where charcoal is made'), and Onglières, to Censeau (where the French national cycling championships took place in 1972). The road climbs gradually from 527m in Champagnole to 840m in Censeau, but it's not a categorised climb.
This map shows the route from Censeau to Verrières-de-Joux:
In Censeau, the race turns right on the D107, and follows the undulating road out of the Jura département, into the Doubs, and to Bonnevaux.
From Bonnevaux, the riders take the D9, alongside the Drugeon river, to Vaux-et-Chantegrue. They continue on the D9, cross the Doubs river, and at les Granges-Sainte-Marie, they turn left on the D437 to Malbuisson, on the lac de Saint-Point.
(The Lac de Saint-Point is 7.2km long, and 0.8km wide, which makes it the fourth largest natural lake of glacial origin in France. (The largest is the Lac d'Annecy, on Stage 19). The lake is popular with holidaymakers in the summer, and it's used for water sports including kitesurfing. There's walking and mountain biking around the lake and in the surrounding forest, and cross-country skiing in the winter.)
The route continues on the eastern shore of the lake, through the villages of Chaudron and Chaon (at the northern end of the lake). Now, Stage 16 climbs away from the lake on the D44; it joins the N57, heading north to la Cluse-et-Mijoux.
Here, it turns right on the D67B, travelling alongside the railway line to Verrières-de-Joux.
Verrières-de-Joux is on the French side of the border; the riders cross to the other part of the village, les Verrières, in the Swiss canton of Neuchâtel.
This map shows the route from the Swiss border to Rochefort:
On the Swiss side of the border, the road is called the R10, and it runs through the Val-de-Travers. The riders pass the village of Saint-Sulpice, then descend to Fleurier, on the river Areuse, and at the foot of a hill called le Chapeau de Napoléon.
(Luxury watches are made in Fleurier. [Insert joke about some riders keeping time like a Swiss watch today, and others losing valuable seconds].)
Stage 16 continues down the Val-de-Travers via Couvet (said to be the home of absinthe) and Travers.
Near Noirague, they climb up the valley side a little, and pass through the Tunnel de la Clusette, to reach Brot-Dessous. They then descend to the village of Rochefort.
This map shows the route after Rochefort, along the Lac de Neuchâtel:
In Rochefort, they turn right on the 173, and travel via Bôle, Colombier, and Areuse, to the R5, and the shore of the Lac de Neuchâtel.
Now, the route is along the lake shore, via Auvernier, to the town of Neuchâtel.
The riders leave Neuchâtel and ride north east along the shore of the Lac de Neuchâtel, passing through Hauterive, Saint-Blaise, Marin, and Thielle, then crossing into Bern canton, and reaching Ins (or Ins/Anet, on the Tour's itinerary), where the day's intermediate sprint takes place.
Profile of intermediate sprint on Stage 16, at Ins/Anet, © A.S.O. Tour de France organisers
The race continues through the village of Müntschemier (known for growing vegetables), then it passes temporarily into the canton of Fribourg, and the village of Kerzers, before crossing back into Bern canton.
This map shows the final part of the route to Bern:
The next villages on the route are Gurbrü, Rizenbach, and Gümmenen.
After Gümmenen, the race crosses the Saane river, and begins to climb. This is the only categorised climb of the day, the Côte de Mühleberg.
The altitude at the bottom of the climb of the Côte de Mühleberg is about 495m; the climb is over a distance of 1.2km; and the altitude at the top is 552m. This gives a height gain of 57m, and an average gradient of 4.8%.
At the top of the climb, the riders reach the village of Mühleberg. (The main employers here are a hydroelectric power plant, and a nuclear power plant, both on the river Aare, which is dammed to make a lake called the Wohlensee.)
The race now makes its way to Frauenkappelen, then loops south via Niederbottigen and Niederwangen to Köniz. The riders are on the edge of Bern.
Bern's website has information about the route of the finish of Stage 16 in Bern. The race goes over the Aare river on the Monbijou bridge, then travels via Helvetiaplatz, Dalmaziquai, the Matte district, Nydeggstalden, Aargauerstalden (which takes it away from the river), and Papiermühlestrasse to the finish at the Stade de Suisse (also known as the Leichtathliekstadion Wankdorf).
It's uphill heading away from the river Aare towards Papiermühlestrasse; then the final kilometre to the finish line is flat. This is the profile of the closing kilometres of the stage:
Profile of the last 5km of Stage 16, © A.S.O. Tour de France organisers
This map shows the route of the finish in Bern:
There's also information about the two stages in Switzerland on www.tdf-bern.ch.
What will happen on Stage 16? It's perhaps one of the harder ones to predict. There's likely to be a breakaway, but the 'last chance before the Alps' effect could well mean that the sprinters' teams will be keen to catch any escapees. The drag up from the Aare river to Papiermühlestrasse could be an opportunity for a strong rider like Fabian Cancellara, Tony Martin, or even Steve Cummings, to get a gap and try to hold off the bunch to the line. However the speed and power of the Tour de France peloton is hard to resist; maybe the most likely outcome is a bunch sprint. I guess that André Greipel could win this one.
Mark Cavendish is thinking of this stage after his win on Stage 14. He suggested that he could go for it, and that Dimension Data have another option in Boasson Hagen. According to the BBC, he said, 'Monday in Bern is not an easy sprint, but it's a sprint, and it's Nelson Mandela Day, so it's a big thing for the team.'
Geraint Thomas, speaking to Peter Scrivener of the BBC, gave his view on each stage before the Tour began. This is what he said about Stage 16: 'This is the last chance for the sprinters before we get to Paris because four days in the Alps follow. But there is an uphill cobbled section at the finish in Bern and if Peter Sagan goes for it - or Swiss rider Fabian Cancellara - they could open up a couple of seconds on the rest of the field.'
Who does he tip for the win? Fabian Cancellara.
Stage 17 of the 2016 Tour de France is 184.5km from Bern to the Emosson dam. There are two Category 3 climbs in the Bernese Oberland, around the middle of the stage, then an intermediate sprint after 150km in Martigny. It's a tough end to the stage, with the climb of the Col de Forclaz (Category 1) closely followed by an hors catégorie climb to the finish at the Emosson dam. Read about Stage 17, Tour de France 2016.
Moirans-en-Montagne is a village in the Jura département, with a population of 2,227. It is close to the Lac de Vouglans, a lake made by damming the river Ain, at the Barrage de Vouglans.
Moirans was founded in the C12th, when the Abbot of Saint-Claude built a château here as a residence, and the village grew up around it. The château was destroyed by the French army in 1637.
Moirans-en-Montagne is known for making wooden toys. There's a toy museum.
There are some cross-country ski pistes around Moirans.
Clairvaux-les-Lacs is a town of 1,439 people in the combe de l'Ain, and the Jura département. It's by two lakes, where humans have lived since Neolithic times, and on a stream called the Drouvenant.
The name Clairvaux comes from Roman times - the Romans called this place Clara Vallis (clear valley).
The Petit Lac and the Grand Lac near Clairvaux are glacial in origin. They are popular with holiday-makers, for swimming, boating, and fishing, and there are four camping and caravan sites around them.
Champagnole is a town of 7,901 people, about half-way between Geneva and Dijon. It is overlooked by a hill called Mont Rivel (805m), which once had a Medieval château on it.
Champagnole used to be an industrial town, with steel and aluminium made here until the 1990s, as well as toy trains. The economy has since gone off the rails (or declined, at least).
Champagnole is twinned with Dunkinfield (UK).
Neuchâtel is a city of 33,600 people, the capital of the Neuchâtel canton. This is French-speaking Switzerland.
The name Neuchâtel comes from the year 1011, when Rudolph III of Burgundy presented a new castle on the shore of the lake, to his wife Irmengarde. The first counts of Neuchâtel were named shortly afterwards.
Neuchâtel belonged to Prussia at one time, then it was conquered by Napoleon. It joined the Swiss confederation on 1st March 1848.
This area is known for watch-making, as well as other high-tech industries. There's a University, with about 3,500 students. One of the city's three funiculars serves the University.
The Lac de Neuchâtel is 24 miles long, and 5 miles wide, which makes it the largest lake entirely in Switzerland, and the 59th largest lake in Europe. The maximum depth is 152m. It's called the Neuenbergersee in German.
Grapes are grown on the slopes on the northern side of the lake, mainly chasselas (white) and pinot noir (red); a rosé wine calleed l'oeil de perdrix is made with these grapes.
Bern is a city of 141,107 people in the Bernese Mittelland, and is Switzerland's capital, or 'federal city'. It's the fourth biggest city in Switzerland. Bernese German is the most-spoken language here.
According to the local legend, the city was named after a bear, which was the first animal Duke Berchtold V came across on a hunt. Bears are kept in the Bärengraben, but they also have a more natural enclosure to move around in, the Bärenpark.
Bern may have been founded by the Duke in 1191. It was one of the first cantons to join the Swiss confederation (1353), and it became the federal city in 1848.
The Swiss Parliament meets in the Federal Palace of Switzerland. Albert Einstein worked in the Parliament's patent office. Other sights include the Zytglogge, a Medieval clock tower, the C15th Gothic Münster, and the C15th town hall.
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