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Tour de France 2012: Brad Wiggins' gets ready in Châtel and on Majorca

Added: thursday 21 June 2012 at 23:30:00
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    Tour de France 2012: Brad Wiggins' gets ready in Châtel and on Majorca

    ... and all details about Châtel's candidature for the Tour de France!

    With Andy Schleck (Radioshack-Nissan) being absent in the Tour de France 2012 and his brother Fränk indicating he doesn't want to have a role as the leader of the American team and is not one of the favourites of the Tour either, Brad Wiggins (Team Sky) is one of the most important competitors to prevent Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team) from taking a second victory in row in the Grande Boucle!

    Showing a great form since the start of this season, Brad Wiggins explained at the press conference at the end of the Critérium du Dauphiné 2012 how he prepares the Tour which will start in Liège in a bit over a week from now (see the Tour de France 2012 race route)!

    This preparation was partly done in Châtel who's a candidate to receive the Tour. In this article you'll find all details about this candidature!

    Bradley Wiggins' very good season

    While Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) "only" won the Critérium du Dauphiné as a stage race last year, this year has already been a big success for the British rider. Indeed, he started his list of victories in 2012 with the final victory in Paris-Nice, after having won the final time trial on the Col d'Eze and than continued to win the first stage in line and again the final time trial in the Tour de Romandie where he also took home the yellow jersey, to finally again show his force and the great help of his team on the routes of the Critérium du Dauphiné where he won the time trial in the middle of the race after having taken the yellow and blue jersey after the first stage already, jersey he never gave away anymore in the race!

    During the press conference at the end of the Critérium du Dauphiné 2012 the British rider born in Ghent in Belgium being in the best shape ever before the Tour and having improved in the time trial and in the mountains and having a better team around him ...

    Concerning his chances of winning the Tour de France 2012, Wiggins remained realistic by saying that the best athlete will win the Tour, it won't be easy. The Tour is huge but that motivates me to do the sacrifices I have to make.

    And after the Dauphiné?

    But what are the sacrifices Bradley Wiggins made since the Critérium du Dauphiné 2012 which he won a little bit over ten days ago?

    The final finish of the Critérium du Dauphiné 2012 was in Châtel, between Thonon and Cluses close to the Swiss border. After the finish, the riders of Team Sky who were present in the Dauphiné, next to Brad Wiggins also Christopher Froome, Edvald Boasson Hagen, Christian Knees, Danny Pate, Richie Porte, Michael Rogers and Kanstantsin Siutsou, stayed in Châtel to use its ideal location to go recognise some of the Tour de France 2012 stages.

    Bradley WigginsBradley Wiggins explained: we'll stay here tonight and we'll go see some of the stage finishes tomorrow ... by car! We'll also go see the first time trial (stage 9 between Arc-et-Senans and Besançon).

    He than explained that after these discover visits, he would take the plane to go home in England to spend a few days with his family before taking the plane again to go to Majorca to continue working on his shape under the sun and on the roads of the Balearic island.
    He added that he wouldn't participate in the British Championships: I did it last year and that was really too much before the Tour and he'll thus directly go off to Liège for the start of the Tour de France 2012 after his Majorcan time.

    With his victorie in the Critérium du Dauphiné 2012, Bradley Wiggins became the first rider after Eddy Merckx to win Paris-Nice and the Critérium du Dauphiné (Libéré at that time; in 1971) in the same year. While Merckx already took his first two overall victories in the Tour de France before that (1969 and 1970), we all know he continued winning the Grande Boucle for 3 times more (1971, 1972 and 1974) afterwards. Is it therefore surprising that Bradley Wiggins was thinking about the question « Who was the last rider to win Paris-Nice and the Dauphiné in the same year? » during the last stage of the Dauphiné?

    Châtel is waiting for the Tour de France

    Châtel would like to welcome back the TourBefore the finish of the Critérium du Dauphiné in Châtel, Nicolas Rubin, Mayor of the winter and summer sports station which is part of the Portes du Soleil, indicated: I'm happy because the stage of this 64th Critérium du Dauphiné will allow to show off the Portes du Soleil with the start in Morzine and the finish in Châtel and taking the routes along the lac Léman and via Thonon ....

    In case you didn't know, in 1975 Châtel was a stage city of the Tour de France for the time trial Morzine – Châtel (18th stage) while in 1988, the Tour visited Châtel during the 11th stage between Besançon and Morzine.

    Team Sky on the roads of the Chablais - © Nicolas Rubin, Mayor of ChâtelIt's thus not really surprising that Châtel clearly indicated that it's a candidate to receive the Tour de France. In addition to the pedalling cow on a giant bicycle at the entrance of the press room at the finish of the Dauphiné with the text "En attendant notre Tour" (waiting for the Tour) written on it (realised by a local artiste, Gilles MOUTHON, and which mesures 8 m high and 6 m large!), Mister Rubin himself showed his motivation to receive the Tour by taking a photo, with his iPhone, of the training of Team Sky on the roads of the Chablais (see photo on the right side of this text).

    Having spoken with Mister Rubin, it turns out that his city's candidature is not new but has been sent to ASO right after his election as the mayor of the station: I sent our candidature to ASO the day after the municipal elections in 2008. This candidature is renewed every year.

    One could thus think that the stage finish of the final stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné 2012 in Châtel was like a test for ASO to get to know the feasibility of the Tour going there. Mister Rubin comments this idea as follows: I don't know whether it was a test for them. In any case, for us it was a way to show our capacities and above all to show our big motivation to receive high level cycling races. Châtel is present in the world of mountain biking since over 10 years now and road cycling is a perfect addition to our plans and goals in terms of events which allow on one side people who like cycling to spend a good time, to let people discover a magnificent sport and finally give a sportive image to our touristic destination. Cycling is one of the best ways to do so.

    Mountains around Châtel - © JF Vuarand, source : Châtel TourismeBut when could the Tour de France make a stop in Châtel, after the last stage finish which was already 37 years ago? Nicolas Rubin answers this question with humour and at the same time showing his determination to receive the Tour one day: I hope you allow me to use the expression " on attend notre tour " (we're waiting for our turn)! (remember, that was what was written on the big cow on a bike you can find on the photo above; click on it to see a bigger version) Of course with respect to the decisions by ASO which has numerous criteria concerning the candidate cities, concerning the stage profiles and the geographical spread which ASO obliges itself to respect in order to visit all different regions regularly. Châtel's chance is that it's in the mountains, its turn will come one day, I trust on that ...

    Châtel in the winter - © JF Vuarand, source : Châtel TourismeConcerning the kind of stage Châtel would like to organise, Nicolas Rubin doesn't hide his ambitions either: Our candidature is for the full package! A stage finish and start. Concerning a time trial, yes, why not renew the Tour experience of 1975!

    Why should ASO choose Châtel?

    For a Tour de France stage city candidature to be convincing, the city must answer some criteria in terms of logistics for example but also have some additional benefits for example in geographical or terms or with a surrounding area which allows for an interesting stage (for example the profile of the surrounding roads). Having a look at this specific candidature one could thus wonder which are the strengths of Châtel and once again, the mayor Nicolas Rubin answers this question:

    Our passion for cycling is of course the first important argument. Since 2008, we have received the Tour de Romandie (it was quite complicated to receive a Swiss race), recently we had the Critérium du Dauphiné and its final stage, regularly we receive the Giro du Val d'Aoste / Savoie Mont Blanc and we get requests from other races ...
    Concerning our geographical position, our situation in the mountains offers several possibilities with an environment which is rich in terms of mountains and race routes for climbers in a 180 km radius. All kinds of profiles are available with Châtel as the start or finish and even though we are not a high altitude station, the local environment allows to set up some nice stages!
    Our hotel capacity in Châtel is 20,000 beds and this number goes up to 32,000 if you include the vallée d'Abondance.
    A nice image of Châtel - © JM Gouédard, source : Châtel TourismeWe exchange a lot with people in Belgium about this. We know Belgium as "the land of cycling" and their experience is useful for us. We are united with a city in the Province of Liège, Seraing
    (where the first stage of the Tour de France 2012, Liège > Seraing, will finish next week) and it's always nice for us to follow the races in the Walloon area and accept the invitations from the Province and our sister city. I will personally be at the start of the Tour and it will again be with much happiness that I will plunge back in the magic of this sport, on a terrain which seems to be made for it and around people with passion, the Belgian population! The Energie around cycling finds its sources in Belgium! I offered a bell to Philippe Gilbert during the Tour de Romandie in Châtel in 2010 and he kindly returned the favour by giving me his shirt at the end of the Dauphiné stage! Belgium and Châtel is a relationship which dates and I hope it will continue for a long time ...

    That's just some arguments which allows us to wait for our turn to find one day maybe the good news letter from ASO. Our motivation will stay, sincere and with passion!

    Discover Châtel at www.chatel.com!

    As a conclusion we could thus say that Châtel clearly is one of the candidate cities to watch out for as a potential stage city for the Tour de France in the next few years! Personally I've appreciated a lot the way Châtel welcomed us during the Critérium du Dauphiné and I thus wish for Nicolas Rubin and his team to realise this project one day ... in the not so far future!

    by Thomas Vergouwen
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    this article appears in the following categories: Tour de France| Critérium du Dauphiné 2012| Criterium du Dauphiné Libéré| Tour de France 2012 | share on Facebook | delicious | twitter | Google | technorati


Currently 3 comments!
  1. Le problème de la ville de Châtel, pour nous traceurs d'étapes, c'est qu'elle est au fond d'une vallée. Alors bien sûr, on pourrait en faire l'arrivée d'une étape passant dans les Alpes suisses, avec le Pas de Morgins versant suisse en guise de final, mais elle n'est pas si raide. Surtout qu'en Suisse on peut trouver des bons raidards.

    Versant français, l'arrivée en côte est pas trop mal, mais bon, dans ce cas là autant privilégier une arrivée à Avoriaz ou à Morzine pour une arrivée au sommet. De plus, le fait que le Col de Bassachaux voisin ne soit pas goudronné à son versant sud empêche un enchaînement Joux-Plane - Joux-Verte - Bassachaux qui serait très intéressant (utilisé dans mon tour exclusivement méridional).

    Néanmoins, la ville a été testée lors du Dauphiné 2012, et les "Alpes du Léman" n'étant pas présentes en 2011 ni en 2012, il y a des bonnes chances de voir Châtel comme ville étape en 2013, mais plus en départ qu'en arrivée !

    | Linkinito | friday 22 June 2012 at 1:10:56

  2. Linkinito

    je suis d'accord en temps de créateur mais ASO ne pense pas comme nous . Mais je pense que cela peut faire une bonne entré dans les Alpes aussi .

    Concernant 2013 je vois plus un Morzine focalisant l'arrivée. Même pour un départ je ne vois pas comment cela serait possible .Peut-être une arrivée en 2014 pour une entrée des Alpes ???

    | bapt77 | friday 22 June 2012 at 10:15:46

  3. Commentaire de Jaja à la télé lors de cette étape vers Châtel : cuvée 2012 du dauphiné médiocre : tracé moyen, il regrette les tracés de C. MOTTET, etc..
    Arrivée sur Châtel...au sprint : ce n'est pas une étape de montagne esprit TDF.
    Châtel, station de moyenne montagne, n'offrira jamais une étape de haute montagne : laissez cela à ceux qui le font très bien, avec des arguments cyclistes intéressants : les grands cols (un peu plus difficiles qu'une arrivée au "sommet d'une côte de 3 ème cat."), et l'esprit cycliste totalement absent ce dimanche : très peu de spectateurs sur cette étape, sauf sur la ligne d'arrivée..)
    Il serait dommage qu'ASO pense "argent" plus que "spectacle"...
    Ici ou là.
    Vive le Tour

    | Fry 74 | tuesday 26 June 2012 at 11:24:24

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