Finhaut, October 20th 2015. In July 2016, Finhaut-Emosson in the Canton of Valais in Switzerland, will host a Tour de France stage finish, it was announced in the Palais des Congres, Paris. The stage will start in Bern earlier that day. The Trient Valley and its spectacular landscape, is nestled in the heart of the ‘Espace Mont Blanc’ region, where a demanding route and spectacular finish at the Emosson dam convinced the Tour de France organisers. The Tour de France is the most watched yearly spectator event in the world, with nearly 3.5 billion spectators tuning in and watching from nearly 190 countries. This is a unique opportunity for the Valais to position itself as one of the premier cycling destinations. On 22 October, the Director of the Tour de France, Christian Prudhomme, will hold a press meeting to explain the reasons for choosing Finhaut as one of the stage finishes.
After having successfully hosted both the Tour de l’Avenir in 2006 and the Criterium du Dauphine in 2014, the Trient Valley has made the step by gaining the attention of the Tour organisers to promote a stage finish in the valley. “This is the result of nearly 13 years of extremely hard work! 9 years after we first applied for a stage finish, we are pleased to know that the Finhaut-Emosson Region will finally take centre stage in hosting a Tour de France finish in 2016”, explain Cédric Revaz and Alain Gay Des Combes, the co-presidents of the local organising committee. The local organising committee along with the President of the Council of the State of Valais, Nicolas Voide, the State Councillor Jean-Michel Cina and the President of Finhaut, Pascal May, convened in Paris along with 3700 other guests when the Tour de France 2016 itinerary was made public. Steve Morabito, a Valaisan professional cyclist with Team FDJ, and ambassador for the Finhaut stage finish, is also part of the delegation from the Valais.
A successful campaign bid
“The finish at the the Emosson dam will be an exceptional event. The location is grandiose, with snow capped peaks and a very difficult climb indeed. This stage, on the ‘Roof of the Alps’, across from the Mont Blanc is absolutely unique.” These are the words used by Mr. Christian Prudhomme when describing the stage finish of Finhaut-Emosson. It is obvious that the local organizing committee put forth a successful proposal highlighting the region’s strengths in order to host such an event. On October 22, in Finhaut, between 5.30-6.30 p.m. Mr. Prudhomme will meet the press in order to elaborate upon his choice and will be available to answer questions. Please see the invitation below.
The Valais at the head of the Peloton
“Proof that our strategy has been successful for the Valais to become a beacon for cycling and mountain biking enthusiasts, is in the fact that a stage finish of the Tour de France will take place in Finhaut-Emosson. The Valais has everything going for it in order to be a major player in this domain and the decision to hold a Tour de France stage finish is further proof, “ stated Damian Constantin, Director of Valais/Wallis Promotion. Not only will the Trient Valley benefit directly from this stage finish, but so too will the Valais Canton in general. With 3.5 billion spectators world wide, 50,000-100,000 spectators expected to line the finish from Forclaz to Emosson, 2.5 million euros injected directly into the local economy, and no vacancy signs in any of the hotels within 100km, one can understand the importance of such an event for the local economy.