The 103rd Tour de France will started on 2 July 2016 in Mont Saint Michel, a small island accessible on foot at low tide, on the Atlantic coast of France. From there the route will take riders south to the Pyrenees, into Spain and Andorra, before heading north via France to Switzerland. On 18 July 2016 during the 206 km 16th stage, riders will cross from France into Switzerland as they climb over the Jura mountain range, bound for Bern. This stage starts at Moirans-en-Montagne in France at 10:40am on 18 July 2016 and crosses over into Switzerland from Les Verrières de-Joux in France. From there the cyclists will passe through Brot-Dessous, Rochefort, Neuchâtel, Theille, Kerzers and Frauenkappelen, before reaching Bern. The route can be seen here.
On the 19th they will rest in Bern before heading through mountains back towards France on the 20th.
The 184.5 km 17th stage, which runs from Bern to the Lake Emosson dam, will go via Wattenwil, Erlenbach in Simmental, Saanenmöser in Saanen, Château-d’Oex, Les Mosses, Aigle (home to the International Cycling Federation), Martigny, and the Col de la Forclaz before reaching the end of the stage at the Lake Emosson dam in Switzerland near the French border. A detailed map is shown here on the Tour de France website. This leg starts in Bern at 10am on 20 July 2016.
The surface of Lake Emosson is around 1,930 m above sea level. The dam and resulting power generation are a symbol of Franco-Swiss cooperation. As the water falls it passes through French turbines in Vallorcine, France before heading downward to the Bâtiaz Power Station in Switzerland.
The Google map algorithms calculates roughly 3,800m of climbing on this route, and a cycling time of around 16 hours, for a regular person. Racers will of course be much faster.
The next stage, 18, will start in Sallanches, France and end 17 km later in the French ski resort of Megève. This will be followed by two more Alpine stages before riders fly to Paris to contest the 21st and final stage, which starts 113km outside Paris in Chantilly – known for crème Chantilly, a type of sweetened whipped cream – before ending on the Champs-Elysées in Paris.
— Le Tour de France (@letour) October 20, 2015
The announcement was tweeted on 20 October 2016 by Tour de France officials.
The video above shows a 3D animation of the route from start to finish. A number of riders and commentators have said the 2016 route favours strong climbers.
This is not the first time the route has come through Switzerland. Most recently in 2012 the course went to Porrentruy in the Jura and to Verbier in 2009. It has also been to Lausanne (2000), Chaux-de-Fonds (1998), Fribourg (1997), Geneva (1990), Crans-Montana (1984) and to Basel in 1982.