Альп-д’Юэз (фр. L'Alpe d'Huez), самый большой горнолыжный курорт во Французских Альпах. Находится на высоте от 1860 дo 3330 м над уровнем моря на территории коммуны Юэз департамента Изер в 60 км от Гренобля. Горнолыжный курорт развивается с 1936 года.
Станция располагается в южной части горного массива Ле Гранд Русс и имеет особый микроклимат. Альп д’Юэз и его зона катания пользуются максимальным солнечным освещением : около 300 солнечных дней в году. За что этот горнолыжный курорт часто называют Солнечный остров.
В зимнее время Альп-д’Юэз является одним из самых посещаемых горнолыжных курортов Европы. Это один из 20 курортов мира, где подъёмники обслуживают перепад высот по вертикали свыше 2 000 метров. Площадь трасс курорта составляет около 30 тыс. га, одна из трасс («Саренна»), начинающаяся на вершине Пик-Блана имеет длину 16 км, являясь самой длинной в Европе. Часть трассы проходит через туннель, а три раза в неделю на ней можно кататься ночью при искусственном освещении.
Общая длина трасс составляет около 240 км. Из них зелёных (лёгких) — 38, синих (средних) — 31, красных (сложных) — 33, чёрных (для экспертов) — 16. Зона катания оснащена 85 механическими подъёмниками. На территории в 216 га (72 км трасс = 32 % зоны катания) обеспечение снежного покрова осуществляется снежными пушками (860 пушек). Оборудованы двасноупарка (один для начинающих, другой для опытных любителей зимнего спорта) и один освещённый участок для ночного катания на лыжах и санях (открыт для туристов два раза в неделю). Для новичков отведены две специальных зоны с повышенной безопасностью. Для профессионалов открыты две трассы, сертифицированные Международной Федерацией Лыжного Спорта и позволяющие проводить соревнования самого высшего уровня.
В Альп д’Юэз возможность заниматься зимним спортом имеют и лыжники-инвалиды. На станции для них облегчён доступ на подъёмники, работают специальные аккомпаниаторы и даётся в прокат адаптированный лыжный инвентарь.
С высоты 3 330 м Пика Блана открывается великолепная панорама на Национальный парк Экрен (фр. Ecrins) и извейстнейшие альпийские вершины. Этот завораживающий горный спектакль получил 3 звёздочки гида Мишлен.
Традиции местных жителей альпийских деревень проявляются в быту, гастрономических предпочтениях и обычаях выпаса домашнего скота. Ежегодно на 10 тыс. га летних пастбищ, которые зимой превращаются в горнолыжные трассы, пасутся 370 коров и 2000 баранов. Это позволяет поддерживать хорошие условия для зимнего катания: животные съедают траву, по которой может скользить первый снег, тем самым предотвращая сход лавин после первых снегопадов.
Летом Альп-д’Юэз популярен среди любителей горного велосипеда, проводится марафон по маунтинбайку Мегаваланш. Также курорт часто становится точкой на маршрутепрестижнейшей многодневной велогонки «Тур де Франс». Впервые трасса этапа пролегла через Альп-д’Юэз в 1952 году, но регулярно, хотя и не каждый год, маршрут стал проходить через курорт с 1976 года. В 1979 году здесь было проведено два этапа.
L'Alpe d'Huez is a ski resort at 1,860 to 3,330 metres (6,100 to 10,930 ft). It is a mountain pasture in the Central French Alps, in the commune ofHuez, in the Isère département in the Rhône-Alpes region.
L'Alpe d'Huez is one of the main mountains in the Tour de France. It has been a stage finish almost every year since 1976, although absent from the route in both 2009 and 2010, the first time since 1976 that it has missed two consecutive years. It is a favourite on all Tour de France anniversary years. The first was in 1952, won by Fausto Coppi.
The race was brought to the mountain by Élie Wermelinger, the chief commissaire or referee. He drove his Dyna-Panhard car between snow banks that lined the road in March 1952, invited by a consortium of businesses who had opened hotels at the summit. Their leader was Georges Rajon, who ran the Hotel Christina. The ski station there opened in 1936. Wermelinger reported to the organiser, Jacques Goddet, and the Tour signed a contract with the businessmen to include the Alpe. It cost them the modern equivalent of €3,250.
Coppi attacked 6 kilometres from the summit to rid himself of the French rider, Jean Robic. He turned the Alpe into an instant legend because this was the year that motorcycle television crews first came to the Tour. It was also the Tour's first mountain-top finish. The veteran reporter, Jacques Augendre, said:
The Tourmalet, the Galibier and the Izoard were the mythical mountains of the race. These three cols were supplanted by the Alpe d'Huez. Why? Because it's the col of modernity. Coppi's victory in 1952 was the symbol of a golden age of cycling, that of champions [such as] Coppi, Bartali, Kubler, Koblet, Bobet. But only Coppi and Armstrong have been able to take the maillot jaune on the Alpe and to keep it to Paris. That's not by chance. From the first edition, shown on live television, the Alpe d'Huez definitively transformed the way the Grande Boucle ran. No other stage has had such drama. With its 21 bends, its gradient and the number of spectators, it is a climb in the style of Hollywood. (The veteran reporter should have included the name Fignon along with Coppi and Armstrong. Laurent Fignon took yellow on the Alpe (without winning the stage) in 1983, 1984, and 1989. He held it into Paris in 1983 and 1984 but in 1989 he lost it on the final stage to Paris, a time trial, to Greg LeMond to finish second by 8", the closest finish in tour history.)
The climb is 13.8 km at an average 7.9 per cent, with 21 hairpins named after the winners of stages there. There were too many when the race made the 22nd climb in 2001 so naming restarted at the bottom with Lance Armstrong's name added to Coppi's.
French journalist and L'Equipe sportswriter Jean-Paul Vespini wrote a book about Alpe d'Huez and its role in the Tour de France: The Tour Is Won on the Alpe: Alpe d'Huez and the Classic Battles of the Tour de France.
The Alpe has chaotic crowds of spectators. In 1999, Giuseppe Guerini won despite being knocked off by a spectator who stepped into his path to take a photograph. The 2004 individual time trialbecame chaotic when fans pushed riders toward the top. Attendance figures on the mountain have to be treated with caution. A million spectators were claimed for 1997. Eric Muller, the mayor of Alpe d'Huez, however, said there were 350,000 in 2001, four years later despite acceptance that the number rises every year. "We expect more than 400,000 for the centenary race in 2003," he said. The author Tim Moore wrote:
As a variant on a sporting theme, Alpe d'Huez annoys the purists but enthrals the broader public, like 20/20 cricket or nude volleyball. Last year, a full-blown tent-stamping riot had required heavy police intervention. During this year's clean-up operation, down in a ravine with the bottle shards and dented emulsion tins, a body turned up. He'd fallen off the mountain and no one had noticed. When the Tour goes up Alpe d'Huez, it's a squalid, manic and sometimes lethal shambles, and that's just the way they like it. It's the Glastonbury Festival for cycling fans.
Alpe d'Huez is the "Dutch Mountain", a Dutchman having won eight of the first 14 finishes. The writer Geoffrey Nicholson said:
The attraction of opposites draws them [Dutch spectators] from the Low Countries to the Alps each summer in any case. But all winter in the Netherlands coach companies offer two or three nights at Alpe d'Huez as a special feature of their alpine tours. And those Dutch families who don't come by coach, park their campers and pitch their tents along the narrow ledges beside the road like sea-birds nesting at St Kilda. The Dutch haven't adopted the Alpe d'Huez simply because it is sunny and agreeable, or even because the modern, funnel-shaped church, Notre Dame des Neiges, has a Dutch priest, Father Reuten (until a few years ago, it was used as a press room and was probably the only church in France where, for one day at least, there were ashtrays in the nave and a bar in the vestry, or where an organist was once asked to leave because he was disturbing the writers' concentration). No, what draws the Dutch to Alpe d'Huez is the remarkable run of success their riders have had there."
The Dutch have won none of the last 13 stages, however; six have been won by Italians, three by Americans, twice by Spaniards, one by Fränk Schleck of Luxembourg, and the most recent by French cyclist Pierre Rolland.
1952: Jean Robic attacked at the start of the climb and only Fausto Coppi could stay with him. The two climbed together until Coppi attacked at bend five, four kilometres from the top. He won the stage, the yellow jersey and the Tour.
1977: Lucien Van Impe, a Belgian rider leading the climbers' competition, broke clear on the Col du Glandon. He gained enough time to threaten the leader, Bernard Thévenet. He was still clear on the Alpe when a car drove into him. The time that Van Impe waited for another wheel was enough to keep Thévenet in the lead by eight seconds.
1978: Another Belgian leading the mountains race also came close to taking the yellow jersey. Michel Pollentier also finished alone, but he was caught soon afterwards defrauding a drugs control and was disqualified.
1984: The Tour invited amateurs to take part in the 1980s. The best was Luis Herrera, who lived at 2,000m in Colombia. None of the professionals could follow him. He won alone to the cacophony of broadcasters who had arrived to report his progress.
1986: Bernard Hinault said he would help Greg LeMond win the Tour but appeared to ride otherwise. The two crossed the line arm in arm in an apparent sign of truce.
1997: Marco Pantani, who won on the Alpe two years earlier, attacked three times and only Jan Ullrich could match him. He lasted until 10 km from the summit and Pantani rode on alone to win in what is often quoted as record speed (see below).
2001: Lance Armstrong feigned vulnerability earlier in the stage, appearing to be having an off-day. At the bottom of the Alpe d'Huez climb, Armstrong moved to the front of the lead group of riders and then looked back at Jan Ullrich, his main rival for the Yellow Jersey that year, seeming to challenge him to follow Armstrong up the climb. Seeing no response from Ullrich, Armstrong accelerated away from the field to claim the victory, 1:59 ahead of Ullrich.
Alpe d'Huez is one of Europe's premier skiing venues. The site of the Pomagalski's first surface lift in the mid thirties, the resort gained popularity when it hosted the bobsleigh events of the 1968 Winter Olympics. At that time the resort was seen as a competitor to Courchevel as France's most upmarket purpose built resort but the development of Les Trois Vallées, Val d'Isère, Tignes, La Plagne and Les Arcs saw Alpe D'Huez fall from favour in the 1970s and early 1980s.
With 249 km of piste and 84 ski lifts, the resort is now one of the world's largest. Extensive snowmaking facilities helped combat the ski area's largely south-facing orientation and helped Alpe d'Huez appeal to beginner skiers, with very easy slopes. The expansion of the skiing above the linked resorts of Vaujany, Oz-en-Oisans, Villard Reculas and Auris boosted the quantity and quality of intermediate grade slopes but the resort is mostly known for freeskiing, drawing many steep skiing enthusiasts to its high altitude terrain.
Aside from the Tunnel and Sarenne black runs, the latter the world's longest at 16 km, many Off-pisteopportunities exist both from the summit of the 3330 m Pic Blanc and the 2808 m Dome des Petites Rousses. These include the 50-degree Cheminees du Mascle couloirs, the open powder field of Le Grand Sablat, the Couloir Fleur and the Perrins bowl. Up to 2200 m of vertical descent are available with heli drops back to the resort's altiport. The proximity to the exclusively off-piste resort of La Grave as well as tree skiing at Serre Chevalier and the glacier and terrain parks of Les Deux Alpes have made Alpe d'Huez a popular base for skiers looking to explore the Oisans region.
Alpe d'Huez hosted the bobsleigh events at the 1968 Winter Olympics based at Grenoble 65 kilometres (40 mi) away. The track, built in spring 1966 for FRF 5,500,000, hosted the 1967 FIBT world championship. The cooling could not keep the ice solid in bright daylight – not least because the track faced south. The four-man event was cancelled because of thawing ice, and modifications were made in spring 1967 to prepare for the Games. The refrigeration system was strengthened in turns 6, 9, 12, and 13; turn 12 was covered with stone and earthwork to prevent concrete coming up, turn 12 was cooled with liquid nitrogen, and shades were built on turns 6, 9, 12, and 13 to minimise direct sunlight. Thawing remained a problem and Olympic bobsleigh events had to be scheduled before sunrise. The track closed in 1972 due to high operating costs but the structure remains as demolition would not have been economical.