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Rolf Rae-Hansen

Rolf's a freelance copywriter based in Edinburgh

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savoie mont blanc

Travel Review: Morzine Mountain Cycling

When it comes to spectacular TV shots of the Tour de France, forget yellow sunflower seas and the Champs Elysees, the mountains are where it’s at. And if you think they look good on your 58-inch HD, try them up close and personal. They’re dangerously distracting, I realised, braking hard as the hairpin bend turned abruptly to sheer drop.

I was in the Savoie Mont Blanc region of eastern, Alpine France, descending the Col de la Colombière, first tackled by the Tour in 1960. Its 16km ascent, particularly the last steep stretch into the headwind, had left me dazed.

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Cycling Savoie Mont Blanc

I’m recently back from a few day’s riding in the Savoie Mont Blanc, the lumpy, Alpine part of Eastern France that borders Switzerland and Italy. The area, hugely popular with winter skiers, is making a big push to promote its many mountainous delights to summer cyclists. Not that cyclists haven’t already discovered the place. I stayed in Morzine, which has already hosted 19 Tour de France stages, including this year’s Tour’s penultimate etape (the soggy stage won by  Ion Izagirre’s demon descent off the Col de Joux-Plane). The locals clearly took the Tour to heart and a month on from the big event the whole area was still decked out in white with red polka dots to match the maillot a pois rouge worn by the race’s best climber. 2016-08-20_17.25.00.jpg

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