08/29 > 09/20/2020

Haute-Saône ski resort

Four previous stages

Population: none on the site. 1,010 in Plancher-les-Mines.

Celebrities: Jean-Noël Jeanneney (politician and historian), Laurence Parisot (ex-president of the employers union), Edouard Belin (inventor of the fax), Jules Rimet (FIFA and World Cup founder), Edwige Feuillère (comedian), Patrick Bouchitey (comedian), Christian Descamps (singer in band Ange), François Devosges, Jean-Léon Gérome (painters), Thibault Pinot (cycling), Ghislain Lemaire (judo wrestler), Stephane Peterhansel (record winner on the Dakar rally), Nicolas Vuilloz (mountain bike world champion), Jérémy Mathieu (footballer), Julien Casoli (Paralympic athlete).

Specialities: cancoillotte cheese, Charcenne wine and cheese, Fougerolles AOC kirsch, Villeminfroy water, Grillotines of Fougerolles, myrtles in Belfahy, Montbozon biscuits, Luxeuil lace, Passavant-la-TarbesRochère glass and crystal.

Sport: 5 alpine skiing pistes, 50 km of Nordic skiing pistes (one circuit to Ballon d’Alsace),snow-shoe circuits, grass ski slope, luge piste summer and winter, pedestrian and equestrian paths. Cycling clubs in the department: Roue d’Or Noidans, BMX Club of Champey. Évents: Tour de Haute-Saône, Tour d’Alsace, Cyclosportive les 3 Ballons, Grand Huit Vosgien, Climbing for Life, Trans’Vosges Saônoises (mountain bike).

Economy: PSA (Vesoul, 4,000 employees), Parisot (furniture), Vetoquinol (world leader in veterinary products), Sweedspan (IKEA branch), Euroserum (milk powder for children), airbase 116 in Luxeuil-les-Bains

Festivals: International Festival of Asian cinemas (Feburary, Vesoul), Rioz carnival (February), Rolling Saône in Gray (May), Music and Memory festival on severalk sites (July, 26th edition), Pluralies of Luxeuil-les-Bains (July, pusic and street theatre)

Label: Land of cycling

Websites and social networks:

@hautesaone70 (Instagram)

© J-F. Maillot
La Planche des Belles Filles during Tour de France 2019 © Presse Sports/Franck Faugère
© Creative Commons 4.0/OT luxeuil les bains
© Creative Commons 4.0/A.BourgeoisP
Blueberry tart © Getty/AlexPro9500
Tour de France 2020 - Haute-Saône


On board

The site takes its name from a legend dating back to 1636, about young women who preferred to jump into the water from the top of the mountain rather than suffer the abuse of Swedish assailants. The leader of the soldiers, who had fallen in love with one of the young girls, rushed to save her but only pulled a lifeless body from the water. He then engraved an epitaph on a board, in homage to the drowned girls and thus gave the name to the site of La Planche des Belles Filles (the board of the beautiful girls).


Unique station de ski du département de la Haute-Saône, La Planche des Belles Filles fit une entrée fracassante dans le Tour de France en y confirmant le talent éclatant de grimpeur de Chris Froome. Le coureur britannique alla y glaner sa première victoire d'étape en 2012, un an avant d'être sacré sur les Champs-Élysées. Ce jour-là, l'équipier de luxe de Bradley Wiggins plaça une accélération imparable dans le final pour lâcher Cadel Evans et s'imposer en force. Dans le même temps, son leader s'emparait du Maillot Jaune qu'il allait conserver jusqu'à Paris. L'emprise de l'équipe Sky sur la Grande Boucle s'installait. Cette étape était particulière pour Thibaut Pinot. Son père est le maire de Mélisey, commune que traversa le peloton avant d’attaquer la montée de la Planche. Mais le petit grimpeur de la Française des Jeux attendit le lendemain pour aller s'imposer en Suisse, à Porrentruy. Deux ans plus tard, c’est Vincenzo Nibali qui confirmait son festival de Sheffield pour s’enfuir en solitaire et aller s’emparer d’un Maillot Jaune qu’il ne lâcherait plus jusqu’à Paris. Enfin, en 2017, c’est Fabio Aru qui était allé y chercher une victoire de prestige tandis que Chris Froome, maître des lieux, s’emparait du Maillot Jaune qu’il allait remporter pour la quatrième fois.
Enfin, une version rallongée et encore plus pentue de la montée finale a servi de tremplin à Dylan Teuns pour remporter sa première étape sur le Tour en juillet dernier tandis que Giulio Ciccone s’emparait d’un Maillot Jaune éphémère. Chaque année, au mois de juin, s’y déroule la cyclo-sportive des Trois Ballons, dont les protagonistes ont surnommé La Planche des Belles Filles « la petite Alpe d’Huez ».
The sole ski resort in the Haute-Saone department and the last summit of the Vosges, La Planche des Belles-Filles made a smashing Tour de France debut when it revealed the climbing talent of Chris Froome. The English rider conquered his first Tour de France stage there in 2012 one year before his overall victory on the Champs-Elysees. That day, the man who was then Bradley Wiggins's main support, surged recklessly in the finale to drop Cadel Evans and win in style. The hold of Team Sky on the Tour had just begun. The stage was also a special one for Frenchman Thibaut Pinot as the race was going through Melisey, a town whose mayor is his father. The FDJ climber waited for the next day in Porrentruy to raise his arms in jubilation. Two years later, Vincenzo Nibali, already winner in Sheffield, went solo to snatch a yellow jersey he would keep all the way to Paris. In 2017, Fabio Aru clinched a prestigious stage victory while Chris Froome went back to his roots to take a yellow jersey he was to take to Paris for the 4th time.
Last year, a longer and steeper version of the climb helped Dylan Teuns clinch his first Tour de France stage while Italy’s Giulio Ciccone grabbed a fragile yellow jersey.
Every year, the Trois Ballons Grand Fondo goes up La Planche des Belles Filles, dubbed "the small Alpe d'Huez" by the entrants.

Dylan Teuns - Mulhouse-Planche des Belles Filles - Tour de France 2019 © Presse Sports/Zoom/James Startt
Vincenzo Nibali - Mulhouse-la Planche des Belles Filles - Tour de France 2014 © Presse Sports/Bernard Papon


La Planche-des-Belles-Filles ski stadium
A real tourist attraction, the ski stadium in La Planche-des-Belles-Filles is growing exceptionally fast. The small family resort created in 1975 now welcomes hundreds of visitors every week. Equipped with five alpine pistes and 50 kms of Nordic skiing courses (including one circuit to the Ballon d'Alsace), the resort also provides snowshoe treks, a Roll'herbe (grass skiing) and a luge track, paths for riding and hiking and a large scale of summer and winter activities.

Notre-Dame du Haut de Ronchamp chapel:
Imagined and conceived by Le Corbusier, the chapel of Ronchamp is a unique building, remarkable by its shapes, proportions and play of light, which make it the emblematic site of the region. Le Corbusier was chosen by the population to rebuild their church, destroyed during WWII. It was not an easy choice: an agnostic, the famous architect had already been in conflict with the Church for a previous project at la Sainte Baume near Marseille. But the local clergy and the population held to their decision and the church was completed in 1955.

In Champagney:

House of Negritude:
In 1789, Champagney had only 2,000 inhabitants, most of them poor, illiterate and remote from Africa as can be. Still they voted for the abolition of slavery in a plea addressed to King Louis XVI. To celebrate the decision, a House of Negritude devoted to the history of abolitionism has been created in town.

Plateau des Mille Étangs
From Servance lies the Plateau des Mille Étangs (Plateau of the 1,000 ponds), a vast land shaped more than 12,000 years ago by glaciers which dug thousands of holes in which ponds and marshes nestled. In this jigsaw puzzle of a land grew landscapes of oaks, beech and fir trees, fern, heather and broom. Scattered to and fro, big rocks recall the heritage of the ice-age. Men later joined forces to reshape the land.

Chapel in Ronchamp, France © Getty/TokioMarineLife
© Creative Commons 4.0/A.BourgeoisP
© Creative Commons 4.0/A.BourgeoisP


Gandeuillot of Fougerolles
Gandeuillot is a specialty of Fougerolles, in the Haute-Saône department, close to La Planche des Belles Filles. It is a big sausage made of a mixture of pork flesh and guts. The lot is stuffed into a pig’s stomach then cooked and smoked on wood fire. It is a rather rare delicatessen since only one gandeuillot can be produced from each pig. It can be eaten cold or warm, sliced for aperitif or barbecued with potatoes.

© Creative Commons 4.0/Chris93

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