Tour de France to come to Méribel in 2020
15th October 2019 | Meribel
Today was a day of magnitude for Méribel and the Three Valleys as it was officially announced that Méribel will host a stage finish in 2020. This will be the first time in 47 years that the Tour has come to Méribel. It’s been years of building work leading to this moment, mainly that of the brand new Col de la Loze; which seems to have been the icing on the cake in securing the Tour de France in Méribel 2020.
The 107th edition of the Tour will start on 27 June 2020 in Nice, Côte d’azur. This is a week earlier than normal due to the Tokyo Olympics; in order to allow prospective competitors to travel and acclimatise before the Olympic race on 25th July. The route will follow an anti-clockwise loop which will stay mainly in the South of France; finishing, as usual, in Paris on the 19th July 2020.
On Stage 17, The Queen Stage, the riders will race from Grenoble to Méribel via the Col de la Madeleine, a staunch regular on the Tour.
This year’s Tour de France will be the most extreme yet, going over every single one of France’s mountain ranges; a real feat for the riders. They’ll be thrown into the deep, with the second stage including 3700m of climbing over Col de la Colmiane, Col de Turini and Col d’Eze. The route will cover:
- 29 Mountains
- 21 Stages
- 8 Mountain Stages
- 4 Summit Finishes
- 9 Flat Stages
- 2 Hilly Stages
- Just 1 Time Trial – on the penultimate day.
Christian Prudhomme (General Director, TDF)
‘It will be physically challenging throughout…Only a great champion will be able to win at the Col de la Loze! The stage profile invites the favourites of the Tour to be audacious. They don’t yet know the road that will take them on that day to the Col de la Madeleine and have no idea of what to expect once in the resort of Méribel. They’ll still have an extra 7 irregular kilometres to climb with several passages at over 20%.’
As we all know, the Tour coming to a town is more than just about the cycling. It’s a fantastic opportunity for the local businesses and for summer exposure for the resort. Méribel has been working hard to increase their summer activities over the last few years; with money being invested into both Mountain Biking and Road Cycling. The amount of building work this year, especially, has been staggering throughout the village and you can visibly and undeniably see the effort that’s going into making Méribel a brilliant summer destination. And it looks like it’s paid off, with TDF Director Christian Prudhomme saying
‘A summit with such steep slopes, and so high, has everything it needs to become a big meeting point in the tour for decades to come…’.
Hopefully this means that the beautifully smooth tarmac roads we now have around Méribel are here to be maintained!
One thing is for sure, Méribel have definitely not built the Col half-heartedly. You can read our blog on the new Col here. But with steep percentages, you’d better hope that the view will be distraction enough from the pain of the climb, at roughly the midway point in the Tour. Even Chris Froome reacted to the route: ‘That is really the hardest route I’ve seen anywhere in the past five years’
‘We are going to see [gradient] percentages of 15-20%. Especially for this narrow corner, even the car will struggle… we have to put it in first gear…We are entering a new world; a new way to climb high-altitude slopes, with crazy gradients…I think for the riders, it will be tough, because they will not be able to keep a regular rhythm. They will have to beat the slope as well as their opponents.’ Thierry Gouvenou (Director)
Méribel Mayor, Thierry Monin talked about the reasons for creating the Col, ‘We created this ‘green lane’ firstly for cycling tourists. We hope that with the dynamism of the Tour de France, visits to the region will continue to increase’. This is great news for those who own property in the valley as it means that tourism is likely to increase over the summer months when renting out your property can be more difficult. Not only that, but increased tourism is likely to result in increased property prices over time.
If you can be in Meribel when the Tour de France comes in next winter, we’d highly recommend making sure you’re there to see it. Expect a fantastic atmosphere, with electric vibes and the world’s best riders in one place; see them struggle up the Col de la Loze (or not, as the case may be!), and cheer them on from the road-side. We just have one question; how on earth is the Caravane going to get up the Col de la Loze to hand out the freebies?!
The Tour de France 2020 stage by stage:
Stage 1 – 27/06/2020: Nice Moyen Pays > Nice (156 km – Flat)
Stage 2 – 28/06/2020: Nice Haut Pays > Nice (187 km – Mountain)
Stage 3 – 29/06/2020: Nice > Sisteron (198 km – Flat)
Stage 4 – 30/06/2020: Sisteron > Orcières-Merlette (157 km – Hilly)
Stage 5 – 1/07/2020: Gap > Privas (183 km – Flat)
Stage 6 – 2/07/2020: Le Teil > Mont Aigoual (191km – Hilly)
Stage 7 – 3/07/2020: Millau > Lavaur (168km – Flat)
Stage 8 – 4/07/2020: Cazères-sur-Garonne > Loudenvielle (140 km – Mountain)
Stage 9 – 5/07/2020: Pau > Laruns (154 km – Mountain)
REST in Charente-Maritime
Stage 10 – 7/07/2020: Île d’Oléron Le Château-d’Oléron > Île de Ré Saint-Martin-de-Ré (170 km – Flat)
Stage 11 – 8/07/2020: Châtelaillon-Plage > Poitiers (167 km – Flat)
Stage 12 – 9/07/2020: Chauvigny > Sarran Corrèze (218 km – Hilly)
Stage 13 – 10/07/2020: Châtel-Guyon > Puy Mary Cantal (191 km – Mountain)
Stage 14 – 11/07/2020: Clermont-Ferrand > Lyon (197 km – Flat)
Stage 15 – 12/07/2020: Lyon > Grand Colombier (175 km – Mountain)
REST in Isère
Stage 16 – 14/07/2020: La Tour-du-Pin > Villard-de-Lans (164 km – Mountain)
Stage 17 – 15/07/2020: Grenoble > Méribel Col de la Loze (168 km – Mountain)
Stage 18 – 16/07/2020: Méribel > La Roche-sur-Foron (168 km – Mountain)
Stage 19 – 17/07/2020: Bourg-en-Bresse > Champagnole (160 km – Flat)
Stage 20 – 18/07/2020: Lure > La Planche des Belles Filles (36 km – Individual time-trial)
Stage 21 – 19/07/2020: Mantes-la-Jolie > Paris Champs-Élysées (122 km – Flat)