Megève

The man from Megève

In the long century of his life, Emile Allais saw his village change completely and this son of a baker was the brilliant architect of the metamorphosis of both Megeve and the sport he pioneered: alpine skiing. The first French Olympic medallist in the discipline in 1936 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, he unwittingly shook hands with Adolf Hitler before winning three world titles the next year in Chamonix. “I was lucky to grow in the same time as skiing,” he told this writer in 2006, six years before his death. “In 1937, there was no signs, no safety nets on the pistes. We skied between the trees. And as the snow was not groomed, it hurt less when you crashed. We still reached speeds of up to 100 kph!”
When he started, alpine skiing was a brand new sport: “We sometimes landed in valleys where farmers would hide away when we arrived, like in some remote tribes of Africa.”
A pioneer in every sense, this appealing man revolutionised French skiing and became after his sporting career a brilliant creator of ski resorts, renovating the sites of Squaw Valley in the U.S. and his own village of Megeve. At the age of 100, he was still skiing and saying, tongue in cheek: “At my age, it's easier to slide than to walk.” The Megeve high school was named after him. 

Web sites

Né à Megève, pour laquelle il a œuvré, Emile Allais était un sportif émérite… même après sa retraite ! © Presse Sports
Stage town for the 1st time
Mountain resort in Haute-Savoie (74)
3,500 inhabitants (Mégevans)

Economy: Development of business tourism, more than 200 shops (including AAllard/Bogner and his famous ski pants), 45 farms

Culture: Innovative mountain architecture (three cottages built by Henry Jacques Le Même, the inventor of the ski chalet, have received the 20th century Heritage label of the Rhône-Alpes), Museum of Megève, Museum of Haut Val d'Arly, Musée de l'Ermitage du Calvaire (Calvary museum at the Ermitage), Médiathèque (media and arts' centre).

Festivals: International Jazz Festival, Megève Blues Festival, Estivales (music), Rêves Nature (children and nature), Fête des vieux métiers (traditional crafts), concours aux poulains (foals' competition)

Sport: Palais des Sports (ice rink, gym, aquatic centre, tennis, climbing wall).

Events: MB Race (mountain biking), Time Megève Mont Blanc and Haute Route (cyclosportives), International Show Jumping, Polo Masters (polo on snow), Winter Golf Cup (golf competition on snow) Sporting Dance Open

Specialities: Three Michelin-starred restaurants, Megève sleds

Sustainable development: Sustainable development of green spaces, careful salting of snow-covered roads

Distinctions: Marianne d'Or 2001, 2011 and 2015 (action in the field of tourism and sustainable development), four-star floral town

A first for the Tour

The Tour is making amends by finally taking a stage to one of the most famous ski resorts in the world, but Megeve already hosted other cycle races. Logically, the Criterium du Dauphine came the most often in the town of Emile Allais, stopping in the village four times between 1996 and 2014. In 1996, Chris Boardman had won one of his five prologues in the event, ahead of Laurent Brochard and Tony Rominger. In 2014, Megeve was the start of the last stage to Courchevel won by Spain's Mikel Nieve ahead of Romain Bardet and Adam Yates. That day, Andrew Talansky had controlled Alberto Contador to win the overall.  

En 2014, Mikel Nieve a remporté l’étape Megève-Courchevel © Presse Sports
Stage town for the 1st time
Mountain resort in Haute-Savoie (74)
3,500 inhabitants (Mégevans)

Economy: Development of business tourism, more than 200 shops (including AAllard/Bogner and his famous ski pants), 45 farms

Culture: Innovative mountain architecture (three cottages built by Henry Jacques Le Même, the inventor of the ski chalet, have received the 20th century Heritage label of the Rhône-Alpes), Museum of Megève, Museum of Haut Val d'Arly, Musée de l'Ermitage du Calvaire (Calvary museum at the Ermitage), Médiathèque (media and arts' centre).

Festivals: International Jazz Festival, Megève Blues Festival, Estivales (music), Rêves Nature (children and nature), Fête des vieux métiers (traditional crafts), concours aux poulains (foals' competition)

Sport: Palais des Sports (ice rink, gym, aquatic centre, tennis, climbing wall).

Events: MB Race (mountain biking), Time Megève Mont Blanc and Haute Route (cyclosportives), International Show Jumping, Polo Masters (polo on snow), Winter Golf Cup (golf competition on snow) Sporting Dance Open

Specialities: Three Michelin-starred restaurants, Megève sleds

Sustainable development: Sustainable development of green spaces, careful salting of snow-covered roads

Distinctions: Marianne d'Or 2001, 2011 and 2015 (action in the field of tourism and sustainable development), four-star floral town

Web sites

Places to see

An authentic village
Megeve can be proud of its architectural, religious and artistic heritage. Visits with a guide are regularly organised to discover the rich history of the town, which turned from a rural village into a world famous ski resort. A ride on one of the famous Megeve sleds is an unmistakable way to discover the charms of the place.

The Calvary path
Starting from the heart of the village, the pleasant cultural and historical walk takes you around 14 chapels and oratories in a peaceful and idyllic setting. Megeve is also home to three museums dedicated to local history and heritage.

Mont-Blanc panoramic views
In Megeve, 40 km of footpaths are available for trekking. The panoramic view of the Mont Blanc and Aravis massifs is breath-taking. The paths are accessible on foot from the heart of the village or by ski lifts, some of them remaining open in the summer.

A sledge for all seasons
A brand new luge park has opened on the slopes of Le Jaillet. The adrenalin levels will rise between the several turns, tunnels and slopes. A sophisticated system is in place to avoid collisions. The spot is open all year round with weekly night sessions.

Sports and Congress Hall
Estimated at 53 million euros, the Sports and Congress Hall will feature among the eight major arenas of its kind in France. It will include a spa, the existing ice rink and new activities like a golf simulator and an indoor climbing wall. The venue will open in December 2016.

Le centre-ville de Megève respire l’authenticité des villages de montagne © Megève TourismeLes sentiers de randonnée offrent de beaux panoramas sur le Mont-Blanc © DDDPromenade sur le Chemin du Calvaire © Megève Tourisme - David Machet
Stage town for the 1st time
Mountain resort in Haute-Savoie (74)
3,500 inhabitants (Mégevans)

Economy: Development of business tourism, more than 200 shops (including AAllard/Bogner and his famous ski pants), 45 farms

Culture: Innovative mountain architecture (three cottages built by Henry Jacques Le Même, the inventor of the ski chalet, have received the 20th century Heritage label of the Rhône-Alpes), Museum of Megève, Museum of Haut Val d'Arly, Musée de l'Ermitage du Calvaire (Calvary museum at the Ermitage), Médiathèque (media and arts' centre).

Festivals: International Jazz Festival, Megève Blues Festival, Estivales (music), Rêves Nature (children and nature), Fête des vieux métiers (traditional crafts), concours aux poulains (foals' competition)

Sport: Palais des Sports (ice rink, gym, aquatic centre, tennis, climbing wall).

Events: MB Race (mountain biking), Time Megève Mont Blanc and Haute Route (cyclosportives), International Show Jumping, Polo Masters (polo on snow), Winter Golf Cup (golf competition on snow) Sporting Dance Open

Specialities: Three Michelin-starred restaurants, Megève sleds

Sustainable development: Sustainable development of green spaces, careful salting of snow-covered roads

Distinctions: Marianne d'Or 2001, 2011 and 2015 (action in the field of tourism and sustainable development), four-star floral town

Web sites

Jersey wearers after the stage 2

Classifications after the stage 2

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