The next stage of the trip entered the main Jura mountains – following the valley of the Valserine which splits the chain in two as far as Mijoux. The Valserine drops 1000m from its source to the Rhône at Bellegarde with highest peaks of the Jura rising to the East, culminating in the Cret de la Neige at 1718m, which holds snow longer than anywhere else in the Jura. Those on the west are lower but still squeeze the road into the narrow defile de Sous-Balme before reaching Mijoux, where an overnight stop allowed the group to ascend the Col de la Faucille in the afternoon.
Beyond Mijoux, the route followed the gorges to reach St. Claude, famous for its cathedral, and pretty views, before following the valley of the Bienne and the gorges de la Chaille to reach the Swiss border at La Cure.
From La Cure the tour headed into Switzerland for the first time, following the Vallee de Joux past its lake – the largest in the Jura – and the Dent de Vaulion to Vallorbe before crossing back into France and finishing at Les Hopitaux. This was the much talked about day of the blizzard – more on that in the day write up accessed by clicking below!