(4 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
The Tour de France 2012, the world’s premier cycling event kicked off last Saturday with the Prologue in Liège, Belgium and will conclude on July 22 with the traditional ride into Paris and laps up and down the Champs-Élysées. Over the next 22 days the race will take its course briefly along the Northwestern coast of France through Boulogne-sur-Mer, Abbeville and into Rouen then into the mountains of the Jura, Swiss Alps and the Pyrenees.
We will be Live Blogging Le Tour 2012 every morning at The Stars Hollow Gazette starting at 7:30 AM EDT. Come join us for a morning chat, cheer the riders and watch some of the most beautiful and historic countryside in Europe.
In the heart of the Alps, Albertville is situated in the Combe de Savoie on the verge of the Tarentaise, Beaufortain and the Val d’Arly, that gave it its nickname of the Crossroads of the four valleys. With its medieval city of Conflans, it is graced with a double label of Town of Art and History and Cycling Tourism Town which allows it to bridge the gap between heritage and sporting activities. So, don’t hesitate in visiting the town centre, bustling with its shops and welcoming sunlit terraces. Take a break in the Olympic Park and 20 years later, relive the emotion of the 1992 Winter Olympics at the foot of the mast made famous by Philippe Decoufle, the producer of the opening ceremony. Visit the Sarrazine Tower, the Red House, the Saint-Grat church or the Manuel de Locatel Castle. Albertville also opens its doors onto lakes and the surrounding mountains and offers a large choice of walks on foot or on bike. The proximity of Lake Annecy, the Bauges Nature Park, Beaufortain and the Tarentaise makes it an ideal base for taking a break and catching your breath.
Albertville is situated on the Arly River, close to the confluence with the Isère River. Its altitude is between 345 and 2,037 metres
The town was founded in 1836 by the Sardinian king Charles Albert. It also consists of the medieval town of Conflans, which has buildings dating back to the 14th century. Since then, Albertville has developed trade between France, Italy, and Switzerland; and industries such as paper mills and hydroelectricity can be found on its river.
In 2003, the town was labelled a “Town of art and history”.
La Toussuire – Les Sybelles is a French linked ski area, located in the Savoie department in the Alps. It is one of the largest skiable domains in France. The ski station is also used regularly as the finish of cycle races including the Tour de France and the Critérium du Dauphiné.
La Toussuire has a head that turns. Perched on its plateau of alpine pastures it offers a 360 degree panorama on the majestic Aguilles d’Arves, the mountain passes of the Croix de Fer and of Glandon and the eternal glaciers. La Toussuire is the birthplace of Jean-Pierre Vidal, slalom gold medallist at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and Gabriel Rivas, junior French champion and is the doorway to the domaine of Sybelles. In the winter, its 310 kilometres of pistes, that form the largest ski area in Maurienne, connects six resorts, Le Corbier, Les Bottieres, Saint-Colomban-des-Villards, Saint-Jean-d’Arves, Saint-Sorlin-d’Arves and La Toussuire, to which has just been added the two 45 kms of the neighbouring resorts, Albiez-le-Jeune and Albiez-Montrond. When summer returns, nature is more gentle: you can recharge your batteries in the sun, take in the pure water of the mountains, breathe in the fresh air, go mountain biking or walk on pedestrian trails. The climb towards La Toussuire and the surrounding passes make up one of the largest cycling areas in the world, the Maurienne Valley.
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