Reims, July 2022
On Thursday 14 July, France’s national holiday, the Tour de France will finish at Alpe d’Huez after a magnificent route through the high mountains starting in Briançon. It’s a mythical stage that includes 65 kilometers of climbing, climaxing with the last 14 kilometers and its famous 21 switchbacks at a gradient of 8%.
Some legendary winners have left their mark on Tour history there. The first time the Tour included Alpe d’Huez, in 1952, legendary Italian cyclist Fausto Coppi won the stage. In 1986, the two champions Greg LeMond and Bernard Hinault crossed the finish line at exactly the same time!
In 1995 and 1997, Italy’s Marco Pantani broke all records, posting the two best times ever in the history of the climb. Closer to our own time, in 2013, Christophe Riblon won after making the climb twice in one day during that year’s exceptional stage. The last victorious Frenchman was Thibaut Pinot, in 2015, though he was far from being the favorite.
In short, an Alpe d’Huez stage is always a mythical moment of the Tour de France — a “summit meeting” for the giants of cycling!
This year, Tsarine Champagne is happy to have been selected by the Syndicat d’Initiative de l’Alpe d’Huez, which will be presenting its VIP guests with a bottle of Tsarine Orium! For this special occasion, the Tsarine packaging has been customized with an original illustration commemorating the 70th anniversary of the first Tour de France visit to the famous Isère resort.