Tour de France Stage 17 Preview

Wednesday, July 19th – Stage 17 183KM

La Mure / Serre-Chevalier

Stage Profile:

Mountain Passes and Hills:

Km 30.0 – Col d’Ornon 5.1 kilometre-long climb at 6.7% – category 2
Km 78.5 – Col de la Croix de Fer (2 067 m) 24 kilometre-long climb at 5.2% – category H
Km 132.5 – Col du Télégraphe (1 566 m) 11.9 kilometre-long climb at 7.1% – category 1
Km 155.0 – Col du Galibier (2 642 m) Souvenir Henri Desgrange 17.7 kilometre-long climb at 6.9% – category H

Intermediate Sprint:

Last Km:

La Mure / Serre-Chevalier

Climbers battling it out for the Yellow Jersey will have two more days to express themselves, to change the outcome or comfort a decent lead and gain precious time. Heading towards Serre-Chevalier, we will give them the most prestigious of what the Alps has to offer: the Col de la Croix de Fer and then the Galibier back after a 6-year absence, going up the Télégraphe. It’s now up to them.

Hautes-Alpes (05)

Prefecture: Gap

Sub-prefecture: Briancon

Population: 139,883
Surface: 5,549 km2

Specialties: Tourtons (beignets), Oreilles d’âne (grated lasagnes, cream and spinach), honeys (mountain, lavender, flowers…), wines (Tallard and Avance valley), fruits (apples and pears of Val de Durance), cheese…

Economy: tourism (more than 20 million nights per year), with 27 ski resorts and 25 Nordic sites. Agriculture (bovine and ovine breeding, dairy and cereal production, arboriculture).

Sport: Second French department in terms of club members per inhabitant, nearly 500 sprt clubs in 50 disciplines – alpine skiing, ice hockey (Briançon Red Devils, Rapaces in Gap), cycling and mountain biking, football, rugby, handball, basketball, athletics, swimming…

Culture and heritage: Les Ecrins National Park, Queyras nature park, Nature park of Baronnies Provençales. Two fortified sites listed as World Heritage: Briançon and Montdauphin.

Alpes-de-Haute-Provence (04)

Population: 161,588

Prefecture: Digne-les-Bains

Sub-prefectures: Barcelonnette, Castellane, Forcalquier

Surface: 6,925 km2

Specialties: lavender, lavender honey, Sisteron lamb, Banon cheese, Génépi from the Ubaye valley, truffles, olive oil, Pierrevert wines.

Sporting events: paragliding world championship (2016), Criterium du Dauphiné, Terres Noires Enduro-Raid, Pra-Loup tennis Open, international squash tournament, French Kayak Championship

Major tourist sites: Gorges du Verdon, Lake Allos, Mercantour National Park, Luberon and Verdon regional parks, Unesco Géopark of Haute Provence, spas of Gréoux and Digne les Bains, village of Moustiers Sainte-Marie, Sisteron citadel.

Festivals: Enfants du jazz festival in Barcelonnette, nights of the citadel in Sisteron, astro summer in Saint-Michel-l’Observatoire, musical hours of Simiane-la-Rotonde, prehistory days in Quinson, lavender fairs.

Economy: tourism; agriculture ; cosmetics, flavours and fragrances, agribusiness, renewable energies. Manufacture of cosmetics, perfumes (l’Occitane). Medicinal and aromatic plants, herbalism, cooking and liqueurs. Hydraulics (the Durance and Verdon dams provide 12pc of the French hydroelectric production), wood (forests cover nearly half of the department), and photovoltaic energy.