Forest'Cime 2023, on the roads of the Tour de France
The 8th edition of the Forest’cime will take place from the June 23 to the 25 of June 2023. During 3 days you will ride a 450 kilometre route through the landscapes of the Ain and the Jura. A course with 8500 meters of cumulative altitude gain. The Forest’cime will welcome you as it should in these landscapes of small mountains and plains. In the middle of the course, to “spice up” the stages, we propose to times somes of the climbs. Thanks to a classification established by category, you will be able to wear the bib of the leader of the performance challenge.
STAGE 1: ARBENT-BELLECIN
Ride on the Monts Jura
To start this Forest’Cime 2023, we invite you to the Espace loisirs d’Arbent (01100) on Friday June 23. This is an ideal site to host sporting events and a place where participants can park their vehicles for free. Also the logistic part is supported by our organisation team for your luggages.
At 9.30 AM we will head for the Jura Mountains, starting with a climb you to the Haut-Jura area. We will pass through the village of La Pesse in the heart of the Haut-Jura. This charming mountain village has a breathtaking view on the Crêt de Chalam, one of the most beautiful peaks in the Jura Mountains. The journey continues towards Saint-Claude. The largest town in the Haut-Jura with 10,000 inhabitants, this sub-prefecture is reputed to be the capital of the pipe and diamond industry. Some famous pipe factories such as Butz-Choquin and Chacom are still present in St-Claude, which also has a museum dedicated to pipes and diamonds. Surrounded by mountains, Saint-Claude is a life-size playground for cycling. In fact, the Tour de France has made no mistake about it, organising several stages passing through the town center.
On the way to Valfin we pass the last difficulty of the day with a short but tough climb and a gradients up to 9% percent. At kilometre 139, we cross the village of Moirans-en-Montagne, capital of the toy industry. Many toy companies such as Smoby, Jeujura or Vilac are located in this commune. The village will host the start of the 19th stage of the Tour de France 2023, for the second time in the Tour’s history. It will be a 100% Jura stage to Poligny.
To soften this first stage of 162 kilometres we will arrive at the Vouglans lake, the third largest artificial lake in France. Its emerald colour variations make Vouglans famous and many tourists visit its sandy beaches in summer. The Bellecin nautical base located on the left bank of the lake will close our journey. Bellecin is a nautical and sports center approved by the Ministry of Youth and Sport, and hosts the French rowing team all year round. As part of the 2024 Olympic Games, Bellecin will serve as a base camp for certain sports delegations. Bellecin is a suitable place to welcome our cyclists in quality infrastructures for rest and physical recovery.
STAGE 2: BELLECIN-BELLECIN
Travel to the land of yellow wine and Pasteur
On the way back from Salins-les-Bains we will pass through the village of Arbois, a gastronomic Mecca containing a large part of the famous Jura vineyards. The village of origin of Jean-Paul Jeunet, a starred chef who has set up his gastronomic restaurant in this beautiful village, as well as a certain chocolate maker Edouard Hirsinger, Meilleur Ouvrier de France. But Arbois owes its fame above all to Louis Pasteur who lived in the heart of the village. It is in this village, that Pasteur developed the pasteurisation and vaccine against rabies. Arbois celebrated the bicentenary of the birth of this famous scientist in 2022.
On June 24 2023, the route will take part of the stage of the 2023 Tour de France between Moirans-en-Montagne to Poligny. This is a very steep stage offering 2505 metres of cumulative altitude gain on a course with a wide variety of landscapes. At kilometre 52, the first aid station of the day will take place in Valempoulières, a small village north of Champagnole. This route heads towards Salins-les-Bains, a charming village of 2,500 inhabitants known for its Grande Saline, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Before the French revolution, Salins-les-Bains was the second largest town in the Franche-Comté region, with 8,500 inhabitants. This city of character is also famous for the Fort Saint-André, built by Vauban in the 17th century. This fortress dominates the village of Salins-les-Bains with a breathtaking view of the Jura plain.
After passing through Arbois, we will ride to Poligny via Pupillin, a winegrowing village where we will have our second refreshment of the day and enjoy a wine tasting at a Pupillin winery. We continue our 165 kilometre ride towards Château-Chalon and Baume-les-Messieurs. Classified as one of the most beautiful villages in France, Château-Chalon is a village of character overlooking the vineyards. Renowned for its Appellation d’Origine Controlée (AOC) Château-Chalon. It is also the birthplace of Vin Jaune, a traditional dry wine from the Jura. Every year since 1997, the “Percée du Vin Jaune” is organised in one of the Jura wine villages. This is the largest wine festival in France with a record of 60,000 visitors over a single weekend. The last refreshment of the day will take place in the heart of the remote areas of Baume-les-Messieurs. This remarkable natural site, bordered by cliffs, is known throughout France for its magnificent Tufs waterfall.
The second stage will end with 35 hilly kilometres with two climbs and a gradients up to 9%. Finally, a wine tasting and sale will take place at our base camp in Bellecin for the pleasure of wine lovers who would like to bring back a souvenir of their visit to the Forest’cime.
STAGE 3: BELLECIN-ARBENT
To the assault of the mountains and castles
We will continue this third stage of 135 kilometres in the direction of the Ain department, passing by the castle of Chevreaux, situated at an altitude of 473 metres. It dominates the Bresse plain, an idyllic setting for a first aid station in the heart of the castle ruins. The second refuelling point will be at kilometre 100 on the side of the castle of Cornod, one of the most impressive domains in the area. Cornod is one of the most important aristocratic buildings in the Burgundy-Franche-Comté region. Built in the 14th century on medieval remains, it was also owned by the Count of Montaigu. With 7500 m2 of living space, the immensity of this castle makes it a jewel of the Jurassian heritage.
To end this Forest’Cime 2023 we wanted to take an atypical route. This last stage aims at touring the main castles of the small mountains of the Jura and the Ain. From our base camp in Bellecin we will head towards the south of the Jura department. We will pass by the castle of Cressia, a monument dating from the 14th century. Previously used as a military fort, it still has a drawbridge and a moat surrounding it. Today the castle of Cressia has become a public school run by Dominican nuns. A few kilometres further on we will find the castle of Rosay. Built on a rocky outcrop in the 12th century, it was part of the seigneury of Montaigu. The castle of Rosay also served as a refuge for the inhabitants of the surrounding villages during the great invasions of France.
At the end of the last day this day with its 2620 meters of positive difference and pasta party will wait for you at the Arbent leisure centre. In a friendly and festive atmosphere we will then proceed to the prize-giving for the winners of the performance challenge!