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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Gstaad - Visitor attraction of the region
- Gstaad (1,050 m above sea level) is the region's main attraction, combining style, Swiss coziness and tradition in a delightful way. The start of the stage takes place in the traffic-free village center of Gstaad.
- Coordinates: N 46°28'26 E 7°17'11
Gsteig - Historic hamlet on the Col du Pillon
- Gsteig (1,200 m above sea level) lies in the deep valley of the Saane at Col du Pillon, framed by the Diablerets massif and Sanetsch area. Here starts the first big climb of the day.
- Coordinates: N 46°23’06 E 7°16’02
Col du Pillon – Mountain pass with glacier cable car
- The first pass (1,546 m above sea level) of the day and start the glacier cable car. A trip to the Glacier 3000 after the passage of the peloton would be a great combination.
- Coordinates: N 46°21'14 E 7°12'19
Traffic plan Gstaad
Arrival instruction Gstaad
We recommend an early arrival. Best by public transport.
Arrival by car car best from the Romandie side.
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.
The Tour de Suisse 2018 passes three out of for municipalities, which are part of the destination of Leukerbad: Varen, Inden and Leukerbad. The route offers various possibilities to watch the race closely. In Varen, the wine village of the destination, the guests can observe cyclists before they tackle the last big ascent. Different wine cellars are situated close by the route and offer therefore the perfect possibility to drink a glass of excellent wine and enjoy watching the participants racing by. For those persons who wish to be active themselves while watching from a distance, they can take a walk on the Roman path between Inden and Leukerbad. Being on the finishing site would mean to be the closest to the race. Nevertheless, Leukerbad offers something special: the spectators can take a relaxing bath in the thermal water of the Leukerbad Therme and enjoy the race just by stepping out of the water.
Traffic plan Leukerbad
Arrival instruction Leukerbad
Leukerbad is easy reachable during the whole day. During the morning, the route between Leuk-Stadt and Leukerbad is normally passable, in the afternoon it’s recommended to take the route passing via Albinen. On the 13th June, in Leukerbad only one-way traffic is possible. There are a lot of parking possibilities in the parking of the Alpentherme, the Torrent cableways and the Obere Maressen. Public transportation will be travelling normally, but the bus stop is replaced on the Rathausstrasse, since the official bus stop is not reachable that day. In the afternoon there may be some delay.
Spectators find many different information and offers in the sponsoring village. Leukerbad is also present with an information tent. After the official finishing site, Rolis mobile Bikestation offers various test bikes, including, racing, touring and mountain bikes. Hence, the owner will be pleased to give further information. Already being in a thermal spa resort, guests should also take the time to visit the thermal baths, the beneficial impact of the thermal water being scientifically proved. The best overview is given from Gemmi. The historic pass, the lowest passage between canton Berne and canton Valais, is ideal for taking a little walk around the lake Dauben or to enjoy eating a Rösti.
Leukerbad offers various accommodations, with hotels ranging from 2* superior to 5*. Furthermore, there are plenty of apartments and a campsite close to the Sportarena. Hotels and apartments can easily be booked on booking.leukerbad.ch. Culinaric fans don’t have any problem to find something suiting them in Leukerbad. There are a big variety of restaurants including Pizzeria, steakhouse and traditional ones with fondue or raclette. The latter is served with a unique onion salad. All restaurants are easily reachable in walking distance.