5th stage: Gstaad - Leukerbad
The route for the 5th stage will see the cyclists traverse several famous winter sports destinations: starting from Gstaad, the peloton will make three steep ascents and cross three ski regions. First, the competitors will have to conquer the Col du Pillon, an old Tour de Suisse favourite, with previous illustrious mountain prize winners including Gino Bartali, Ferdy Kübler, Beat Breu and Toni Rominger. Next, the route will take them from the Lower Valais up to Montana. The final ascent will then see them ride from Leuk up to the Valais ski resort of Leukerbad, which has already hosted a Tour de Suisse stage finish on two previous occasions (1985 & 2006).
With its three ascents, this is sure to be one of the key stages in determining the GC winner 2018.
Holiday region of Gstaad
Gstaad is unique in many ways. The region offers a unique wide range of sports, events and culinary attractions in its spectacular alpine surrounds. Roadbike- and mountainbike-tours, hiking trails right up to the Glacier 3000 animate families and sports enthusiasts to explore the intact nature. Gourmets praise Gstaad for its culinary Olymp and its wellness credentials. With its cosy chalet-village ambience and its undisputed glamour, Gstaad will make any vacation an unforgettable experience.
Enjoy unforgettable moments in the saddle with the varied touring and training options in the holiday region of Gstaad. Combine your sports activities with alpine adventure, physical and mental revitalisation, and endless fun.
Gstaad - Visitor attraction of the region
Gstaad (1,050 m above sea level) is the region's main attraction, combining style, Swiss Gemütlichkeit and tradition in a delightful way. The traffic-free centre of the village is a harmonious mix of restaurants, shops, hotels and bars. The recreational areas surrounding the village are accessed by three mountain railways.
The «4 finger loop» forms the basis of all shorter rides in the region of Gstaad and leads through Gstaad after each of the 4 valleys.
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The alpine landscape at 1,400 meters above sea level, the fresh mountain air and the natural thermal water resources make Leukerbad the largest natural thermal spa resort in the Alps. The natural process of transforming the mountain water into 51°C warm thermal water in the interior of the mountain, takes an unbelievable 40 years, before it can develop its beneficial effects in the thermal baths of Leukerbad. This unique thermal water contributes to the fact that sports activities in Leukerbad are even more active, fitter and healthier than anywhere else. It is scientifically proven that the thermal water of Leukerbad, in addition to the medical effect on the musculoskeletal system, also has preventive and relaxing effects on body and soul.
Therefore, Leukerbad with its thermal baths is the perfect starting point to discover the varied network of cycling routes in the canton of Valais. But Leukerbad not only makes hears of bike racers beat faster, but also offers mountain bikers and hikers varied trails in an alpine mountain environment, strongly influenced by the thermal water.