Just two days before the Tour de France is set to pass through the valley and four days before the final mountain stage on Alpe d’Huez, a huge storm has broken the 6 week long heatwave causing multiple mudslides and closed many roads in the area. Local authorities are already out trying to clear the roads. Its yet to be seen if there has been any serious damage to the Tour de France route.
In April, damage to the Tunnel du Chambon and fear of a huge mudslide from the hill side above forced the closure of the tunnel and road between Bourg d’Oisans and the Col du Lautaret/Col du Galibier. The road remains closed today and has resulted in the change of the route for the final mountain stage of the Tour de France which will now pass over the Col de la Croix du Fer, rather than the Col du Galibier on the way to Alpe d’Huez this Saturday. All work on the tunnel has stopped until nature takes control and this part of the mountain finally collapses. Hopefully this storm will trigger the predicted rock slide, so that work on repairing the tunnel and road can start again.
Update – Wednesday 22nd July. The sun is shining again and the clean up is underway for the many landslides in the area. The road to Venosc and La Berarde is open again, but there are set of traffic lights in place as local authorities clear the roads of debris.