• Switzerland's news in English
Swiss hydro dam part of Tour de France 2016
View of the Finhaut-Emosson dam. Photo: Switzerland Tourism

Swiss hydro dam part of Tour de France 2016

The Local · 20 Oct 2015, 11:39

Published: 20 Oct 2015 11:39 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The 2016 edition of the cycling calendar's biggest event will feature two stages at least partly in Switzerland.

Stage 16 on July 18th will see riders race 206 kilometres from Moirans-en-Montagne in France over the Swiss border to Bern.

Participants will then enjoy their second rest day in the Unesco-designated medieval city before gearing up for Stage 17 on July 20th.

This stage will see the best of the world's cycling community endure a tough 184-kilometre day, featuring a summit finish at the Finhaut-Emosson dam at an altitude of close to 2,000 metres in the canton of Valais.

The hydro-electric dam, completed in 1975, is near the French border and captures meltwater off the Mont Blanc to create the Emosson reservoir.

The dam is accessible to the public via a road that is open only in summer.

It is this same road that is set to become a part of the Tour de France circuit on July 20th next year in the 17th stage from Bern.

It was previously used as the seventh stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné cycling race in 2014.

Normally, the route to the dam would end in a cul-de-sac.

But due to the construction of an underground pump-turbine power generating station, an access road has been built that will allow cycling teams to exit the area by travelling 180 metres beneath Emosson reservoir.

The generating station, set to go start producing electricity in 2018, will pump water from the Emosson reservoir through the turbine facility and into another reservoir.

Tour director Christian Prudhomme, who has visited the 2-billion-franc project site, described the atmosphere of the area as "a James Bond universe" and when the stage was proposed "we did not hesitate to take the step", Le Matin newspaper reported.

The underground exit will be via a seven-kilometre underground road, he said. 

The full route of the Tour de France including all the gory details on the steepest and longest climbs, which will also see cyclists dip into Andorra and Spain, was unveiled on Tuesday.

For more news from Switzerland, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.ch)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Presented by MoneyPark
How to get a mortgage in Switzerland
Houses in Zürich. Photo: Pixabay.

Ready to buy? Here’s what you need to know as an expat about Swiss regulations, how to finance your purchase, and why you should use a broker.

Autumn in Switzerland: ten stunning Instagram photos
Photo: Swiss Tourism/Jan Geerk

Switzerland is beautiful in all seasons, but as these photos show, autumn is a special time in the alpine country.

Report: Swiss progress slows on gender equality
File photo: David Soulivet

Globally, it will take 170 years to achieve gender equality, according to the World Economic Forum.

Brothers go to court to stop suicide of sibling
File photo: Lisa Edmonds

Two men have filed a legal bid to prevent the Swiss assisted suicide association Exit from helping their older brother to kill himself.

Wawrinka snubs past form to reach Basel second round
Wawrinka beat local wildcard Marco Chiudinelli. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

US Open champion Stan Wawrinka has reached the second round in Basel after going out in the first round for the past four years.

Villagers asked to help fund bridge renovations
The bridge links the two villages of Veltheim (pictured) and Holderbank. Photo: Lutz Fischer-Lamprecht

The crowdfunding campaign by the two communes is the first of its kind in Switzerland.

Police discover body buried in Orbe house
File photo: Bas Leenders

Police have opened an investigation after finding a body buried in a house in Orbe, in the canton of Vaud, on Saturday.

Valais shaken by 4.2 magnitude earthquake
The earthquake hit in the canton of Valais near Sierre. Photo: Alain Rouiller

It's the biggest earthquake to hit the country for two years.

Swiss Indoors kicks off without champ Federer
Federer celebrates with ball girls and boys after winning the event in 2015. Photo: Harold Cunningham/Pool/AFP

Stan Wawrinka is top seed as injured Federer sits it out.

IOC hires Russian doping whistleblower as consultant
IOC President Thomas Bach confirmed the news. File photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has hired Vitaly Stepanov as a consultant and is helping his runner wife Yuliya.

Photo: Unterirdisch Ueberleben
Inside Switzerland’s largest nuclear bunker – 40 years on
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Photo: The Local
Ticino firefighters rescue cow from swimming pool
Photo: Antoni Da Campo
Vegan wins battle to be accepted by Swiss army
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Ten Swiss ski resorts named most expensive in Europe
Photo: Randy Kashka
Swiss women will ‘work for free’ for the rest of year
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Montreux throws hat in Olympic rings
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Seven things you’ll miss about Switzerland if you leave
Photo: Richard Juilliard/AFP
Man makes Geneva airport bomb threat ‘for a joke’
Photo: AFP
Solar Impulse team reveals plans for unmanned plane
File photo: Martin Abegglen
Swiss to vote on passport rules for 3rd gen foreigners
Photo: AFP
Swiss wingsuit hotspot Lauterbrunnen won’t impose ban
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Six reasons Switzerland isn’t as boring as you might think
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Report: Switzerland one of world’s best places for girls
Photo: The Local
Thief returns Swiss cow bells worth thousands
File photo: Wikimedia Commons
One in three rapists isn’t locked up: statistics
Photo: activistin.ch
Tampon-tax protest turns Zurich fountains red
Photo: AFP
Geneva police to lift ban on bearded officers
Photo: Marcel Gillieron/AFP
Suicide chef’s restaurant keeps Michelin stars
Photo: Lara de Salis
11 things the Swiss get tired of hearing abroad
Photo:  Ivo Scholz/Swiss-image.ch
Survey: expats in Switzerland have money but few friends
Photo: AFP
Swiss press criticize Bern’s 'capitulation' on immigration
Photo: Jura Trois Lacs tourism
German ex-policeman is Swiss city’s new hermit
Photo: Dmitry A. Mottl
Ticino votes to favour local workers over foreigners
jobs available