Local officials from Swiss towns Aigle and Lausanne met with Tour de France Director Christian Prudhomme earlier this week to hand deliver their application to host a stage of the Tour in 2021, 2022 or 2023.
The group presented Prudhomme with a detailed stage route, course profile and profiles of each the the potential climbs. The proposed route would start at the UCI headquarters in Aigle and finish along Lake Genevea in Lausanne, taking in the Vaud and Friborg Prealps as well as the vineyards of Lavaux, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Lausanne hosted its first Tour de France stage in 1948, when Gino Bartali won after 256km from Aix-les-Bains. Although Lausanne has hosted a Tour stage five times - in 1948, 1949, 1952, 1978 and 2000 - it would be a first for Aigle. Organisers believe the proposed route would showcase two strong sports and tourism symbols, linking the UCI headquarters to the Olympic Capital.
The proposed 172.9km stage would not be a parade day by any means, with 3,800 metres of climbing and an almost equal amount of downhill. The route would take in four major climbs, including the first category Col de la Croix (1,776 m), the second category Col du Pillon (1,546 m), the third category Col du Saanenmöser (1,279) and the first category Col du Jaun (1,509 m).
After the mountains, the race would take in the vineyards of Lavaux and then Lake Geneva. After about 4 hours 20 of racing and a final 3.7km climb at 6 per cent gradient, the peloton would cross the finish line in the Olympic stadium of Pontaise.