Lance Armstrong & the Tour de France of Ski: Stage 20, Mont Serein

Posted By: Zeke Piestrup on July 24, 2009 11:29 am

 

Alberto Contador maintains his sizable lead in the 2009 Tour de France.  The Spaniard will carry a 4:11 lead over Luxemburg’s Andy Schleck into the final two stages of the 96th Tour de France.  Lance Armstrong remains in podium contention, 1:10 behind Schleck, but only 15 seconds in front of Britain’s Bradley Wiggins.  Another Brit, Mark Cavendish, won the 19th stage with an impressive sprint on the final straight of Friday’s race.

Tour de France of Ski: Stage 20, Mont Serein

As the 2009 version of the Tour de France nears and end, so does our tour of the interesting ski areas along the route.  It’s been a long journey, and my virtual ski legs are burning from bombing turns down the Pyrenees, the hills of Alsace, and the godlike Alps.  It’s the last chance to make some turns before Lance Armstrong, Alberto Cantador, and the Schleck brothers head to Paris.

Mont Ventoux is the first mountain thought of when pondering grueling climbs of the Tour de France.  It was here on the 1967 Tour de France that Brit cyclist Tom Simpson died during his ascent.  Today there is a shrine at the top of Mont Ventoux that has become, for obvious reasons, a shrine for cycling fans worldwide.

The majestic Mont Ventoux is a nature lover’s paradise, more than 200-thousand acres protected by the French government. The six-thousand foot peak of Mont Ventoux is a striking site to behold, the mountain bald as Kojak.  Originally forested, its trees were systematically removed in the 12th century for the building of ships. 

The humble little ski area of the north face of Mount Ventoux consists of eight surface lifts.  Mont Serein is a small ski area worthy of a Glen Plake visit during his Down Home Tour.  High winds and its moderate elevation (6,273 ft) make conditions inconsistent.  But, being the only ski area in Provence of southeastern France, Mont Serein is to be celebrated and cherished.  Have you ever frowned while making turns on snow?  Making turns is making turns!   And the chance to make turns in a nature reserve?  Chic alors!

Zeke Piestrup ( More Posts)

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