L’Etape du Tour was created in 1993, the idea behind it was to allow thousands of amateur cyclists to share the emblematic parcours of the month of July, as well as the beauty and toughness of Tour de France mountain stages. This concept has not changed in 20 years. The race has become an international reference in the world of cyclosportive events.
L’Etape du Tour is open to everybody Semi-professional cyclists, amateur champions, cycling lovers who are focused on training, but also beginners who want to step up to the challenge… You will find all sorts of riders in this event, and we are happy to welcome everybody. No selection is made according to ability level there is a place for everybody in the peloton.
To participate, it is essential to prepare and train for the race you must prepare adequately, since this is a physically challenging race which requires intensive training. The only requirement needed to validate your participation is providing a medical certificate of fitness to practice competitive cycling.
In the mountains! They lie at the heart of this event, with mountainous routes which allow cyclists to test themselves on the climbs of the various mountain ranges in France. L’Etape du Tour is a travelling race and its location changes every year. It follows the changes in the route of the Tour de France. The roads of the Tour have already led us nine times to the Pyrenees, four to the Alps, three to the Central Massif and two to the Mont-Ventoux, after the first eighteen editions. In 2011, the first year with a double challenge, the two acts took place in the Alps and in the Central Massif.
ON WHAT DATE?
L’Etape du Tour takes place in July. Therefore, it partakes in the atmosphere, the excitement, the craze, the passion present on the roads of the Tour de France. The race is held a few days before or after the professional race this makes it possible for many participants to plan weekly stays which also allow them to view the Tour de France.
WHAT IS THE VILLAGE OF L’ETAPE DU TOUR?
During the two days before the race, this village acts as a gathering point for all participants, where they can pick up their racing material and discover the newest cycling products and services. They also get the chance to discover local colours, flavours and culture the village is free and open to everybody.
HOW DOES THE RACE TAKE PLACE?
The race usually starts quite early (7 am), since it lasts a very long time. The last riders usually take over 10 hours to reach the finishing line. Participants are distributed at the starting area according to their ability levels: the fastest at the front and the slowest at the back. This is one of the measures taken to make the race more fluid. The peloton quickly stretches out to cover tens of kilometres, generating a constant flow of cyclists on the route. For obvious safety reasons, the route the race takes places on is completely closed to traffic.
Participants keep streaming across the finishing line throughout the entire afternoon. Since the time cut-off imposed on the last riders has been agreed with the authorities, withdrawals and the elimination of excessively slow cyclists will be handled by the organisation (25 coaches, 5 lorries) in order to free up the roads at the expected time at each point of the race.
CAN I ATTEND THE RACE?
Just like at the Tour de France, spectators and people accompanying the cyclists are welcome to cheer on their champions from the side of the road. Vehicles may not use the road, but spectators can go to fixed points along the race route.
For more information and registration for this event please visit the official E’Tape du Tour Website at: http://www.letapedutour.com/ET1/us/homepage.html