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Which Ski Resorts Does the 2021 Tour de France Pass Through?

Learn about the French ski areas Mont-Saxonnex and Le Grand-Bornand, two critical parts of the 2021 Tour de France's Stage 8.

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Have you ever wondered about the ski areas that the peloton passes by during the Tour de France? TdF Ski Areas highlights the majority of ski towns and resorts that the tour will pass by this year. Be sure to join Outside+ to learn more about the skiing that the cyclists are riding by way too quickly.

The first true stage in the Alps for the 2021 Tour de France will take place during stage 8. The route will finish at Le Grand-Bornand, a true French ski town. But Before it gets there, the riders will ascend the first category 1 climb in the small ski village of Mont-Saxonnex.

Overview of Mont-Saxonnex

The Côte de Mont-Saxonnex is new to the Tour de France this year and features a 5.7-kilometer (3.54 mile) climb with an 8.3-percent grade. Located about one hour from the Geneva airport and an hour from Annecy, the largest city in the region, Mont-Saxonnex, is a relatively small ski area and village by French standards. The town and ski area sit at the foot of the gorgeous Bargy Massif in the Haute-Savoie region. The village of Mont-Saxonnex has a population of about 1,643 residents.

While Mont-Saxonnex’s ski area isn’t exactly a destination resort, the mellow skiing is well-complemented by the world-class views of the Grand Bargy mountain and Lac Bénit at the top of the ski area. It’s also incredibly inexpensive to ski there by American standards, with lift tickets starting at 21 Euros (about $25 at the time of publication).

Mont-Saxonnex Ski Area Quick Facts

  • 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) of ski trails
  • 1 chairlift, 6 surface lifts
  • Vertical Drop: 1,673 feet
  • Lift ticket price for 2020-’21 season: 21 euros ($25)
  • Closed by state restrictions for 2020-’21 season.

Want to get caught up on this year’s Tour de France? Don’t miss VeloNews’ world-class coverage of the biggest event in cycling.

Le Grand-Bornand Ski Resort

The finish of stage 8 of the Tour de France will be in the resort town of Le Grand-Bornand. While biathlon fans will know this as the place of the World Cup in 2013, 2017, 2019, and this coming December, Le Grand-Bornand is also a hotbed for alpine ski talent as well. Hometown heroes include Tessa Worley, who won the World Championship GS race in 2013 and 2017 as well as the GS crystal globe in 2017, and Jonathan Midol, who medaled at the 2014 Olympics in ski cross.

Le Grand-Bornand ski area is a part of the Aravis alpine ski collective, which also includes La Clusaz, Manigod, and Saint-Jean-de-Sixt, which are linked together by a bus system. The town is about a half-hour drive from Annecy, an hour from the Geneva airport, and is certainly a legit ski-resort destination for any skier traveling in France who wants the big Alps experience without a ton of tourists.

“Le Grand-Bornand is a good family ski resort and retains a fairly unspoiled French flavor,” comments reviewer Keith on Snow-Forecast.com. “The skiing is not extreme but is varied.”

American ski resorts could certainly learn from Le Grand-Bornand’s interactive website, including this neat interactive aerial view of the resort. Also, visitors would be remiss in not trying Reblochon cheese while visiting.

Le Grand-Bornand Quick Facts

  • Population: 2,154
  • 84 kilometers (52.2 miles) of groomed terrain on 47 pistes
  • 494 acres of terrain
  • 3,610 feet of vertical descent
  • 24 lifts including 2 gondolas, 10 chairlifts, and 12 surface lifts
  • Closed by state restrictions for 2020-’21 season.
  • Must eat: Reblochon cheese

Coming up: Stage 9 will include Combloux, Les Sais, and a finish at Tignes (unless there’s another mudslide…). Read about the Stage 9 resorts here.

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