Stage 1 : Clermont Ferrand – Le Puy en Velay
July 8-9, about 150 km
Departure will be taken in Central France with a medium range mountain stage on which participants will chose between two courses: an easier one through the Issoire-Brioude plains or a tougher one where through the Auvergne volcanoes to the West or the Forez mountains to the East.
This stage is likely to offer exceptional landscapes towards Puy de Dome, if we manage to get the authorizations. It will be of average difficulty with a distance of 150 km to be cycled over the course of two days. It shall be a good introduction to the rest of the trip.
Stage 2 : Le Puy en Velay – Lans en Vercors
July 10-11, about 220 km
Whatever course participants choose, the path will be hilly and gorgeous between the Puy en Velay and the Rhône river valley (through Mount Mezenc and/or northern Ardèche). The approach to the stunning Vercors plateaus is to be determined by each, with variable degrees of difficulty.
With over 200 km and a few climbs on the planning, this 2-days stage can already be considered a serious challenge, especially if the weather conditions are not favourable.
Stage 3 : Lans en Vercors – Val d’Isère
July 12-14 juillet, about 235 km
This stage offers three days of freedom to participants, enabling the most enthusiastics to climb some of the highest mountain passes in France such as the Croix de fer, the Galibier, the Mont Cenis or the Col de l’Iseran, perched 2700m high!
The challenges may be dodged in whole or in parts if participants decide to cycle up the valleys (in particular the Maurienne valley) in order to reach the Salon du véhicule électrique et hybride (Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Convention) in Val d’Isère. The cycling pack will rest there one day on July 15. Bastille Day will also be celebrated in the famous Haute Tarentaise ski station.
The degree of difficulty can therefore be high for this great alpine stage. In any case, it will be required to climb up to 2000 m.
Stage 4 : Val d’Isère – Lausanne
July 16-17, about 220 km
For all participants, this will be the hardest stage of all the Sun Trip Tour 2017, as they will need to overcome two mountain passes over 2000m: the Little Saint Bernard (between France and Italy) and the Great Saint Bernard (between Italy and Switzerland). Bad weather there can definitely undermine the cyclists’ efforts!
A stopover at an Italian refuge will be suggested before regrouping in the beautiful city of Lausanne, including a night camping on the shores of Lake Geneva. This high mountain stage will be one of the highlights of the 2017 edition.
Stage 5 : Lausanne – Trévoux
July 18-20, about 240 km
Participants are back to a medium mountain area, with a possibility to cross the greater part of the Swiss and French Jura range before going through the famous Dombes in the Ain department.
This 3-days stage will allow for a lot of freedom before a last group event in Trévoux, on the banks of the Saône river. The hardest parts will be over by then.
Stage 6 : Trévoux – Lyon
July 21, 35 km
The final stage will be peculiar as it will be short and ridden as a pack. It will be organised jointly with the Greater Lyon area in order to showcase the beauties and the cycling circuits of Mont d’Or (with some last climbs), followed by an unusual passage through the 1,8 km long bicycle tunnel of the Croix Rousse. The picture will be complete with an ending on the quays of the Rhône river, at the heart of the second largest city in France. This final stage will feel like a parade!