Lance Armstrong & the Tour de France of Ski: Stage 15, Verbier

Posted By: Zeke Piestrup on July 17, 2009 12:17 pm

Stage 14 of the Tour de France finally brought a minor shake-up to the Rinaldo Nocentini-Alberto Contador-Lance Armstrong trifecta that has been frozen in the top three positions for nearly a week now.  Enter American George Hincapie.  Hincapie, a former teammeate of Armstrong, was part of a small breakway group that finished just beind stage 14 winner Serguei Ivanov of Russia.  Five seconds faster and Hincapie would have wrestled the yellow jersey away from Rinaldo Nocentini of Italy.  For the time being, Hincapie will have to settle for second place, five seconds off the lead.  Alberto Contador remains six seconds back, and Lance Amstrong, now in fourth place, is still just eight seconds off the lead.

It’s all about to get very interesting as the tour enters the Alps, stage 15 winding from Pontarlier to Verbier.  An outbreak of swine flu at a school right near the finish area in Verbier threatened to overshadow the festivities, but the building and those affected have been quarantined.  Officials have pronounced everything is safe and a go.  Even the town’s most happening nightclub, The Farm, will be open for the first time ever during the summer, ready to serve the tour’s revelers.

Tour de France of Ski: Stage 15, Verbier

Discussion and debate over the world’s greatest ski resort will always involve Verbier.  On piste, off piste, day life, night life, Verbier has no weakness.  And we haven’t begun to talk about the blueberry pancakes at the Offshore coffee bar.

First off, it’s the Alps.  Any list of the world’s top ski resorts will feature more resorts from the Alps than any other mountain range.  Zermatt, Chamonix, Val d’Isere, all rest on the shoulders of the Alps.  From the top of Verbier’s Mont Fort at 10,925 feet, you can see the famous Matterhorn of Zermatt and Mont Blanc of Chamonix.  You need not die to go to Ski Heaven.  Just head to the Alps.

Verbier has 5,000 feet of vertical with an average snowfall of over 19 feet.  The conditions at Verbier are bankable.  The off-piste, guided skiing of gigantic powder bowls and couloirs offer the best skiing experiences imaginable. 

Even with its large scope, Verbier still retains the charm of a small Swiss village, thanks to its chalet-style architecture.  Of course, for the autograph-seekers, Verbier boasts its share of people known for their well-knowness (aka celebrities).  Hugh Grant, James Blunt, Diana Ross, Sarah Ferguson, and Richard Branson, who owns the Verbier Lodge, all trek to Verbier for their ski holiday. 

Verbier, your chance to make some of best turns of your life, experience the best apres ski scene around, and a can’t-pass-up opportunity to take a pole stab at James Blunt for that awful song stuck in your head.

Zeke Piestrup ( More Posts)

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