Lance Armstrong & the Tour de France of Ski: Stage 21, Chatel

Posted By: Zeke Piestrup on July 25, 2009 11:45 am

Cue the Fat Lady, the 96th installment of the Tour de France is essentially over.  All that is left is purely ceremonial.  Alberto Contador of Spain is on the verge of winning his second Tour de France.  On Saturday’s stage 20 from Montelimar to the mountaintop of Mont Ventoux, Contador finished fourth right on the back tire of his closest rival, Andy Schleck of Luxembourg.  Heading into the tour’s final stage, Contador’s overall lead stands at 4:11 over Schleck. 

Lance Armstrong is still likely to podium, as he sits in third, 5:24 back of Contador.  But the race for the yellow jersey is over, as the last stage of Tour de France will be one of celebration for Contador and butterflies for Lance Armstrong.

Tour de France of Ski: Stage 21, Chatel

From the start stage 21, Montereau-Fault-Yonne, the riders of the Tour de France will point their wheels northwest to Paris.  We will instead head in the exact opposite direction, 200 miles to the southeast.  In the Rhone-Alpes region of southeastern France is Chatel, a village and ski area that is part of Portes du Soleil, the largest international linked ski area in the world.  In all Les Portes du Soleil is 13 ski areas encompassing 14 valleys offering more than 400 square miles of terrain.

Chatel is right on the border of Switzerland.  The resort lies at a modest 4,000 feet, but its north facing slopes ensure consistent snow pack.  The village’s farming tradition still survives today, with farm fresh produce abundantly available. 

The old rustic village has free bus service for skiers and even though there’s been rapid development of the ski area over the past decade, Chatel is still an old Savoyard village at heart.

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