L'Etape du Tour

I started this on the training thread but thought it might be of interest to a slightly wider audience.

Basically this is a cycling event which takes one of the stages off the tour de France and allows "normal" (I use the word advisedly) people to enter. The event is over closed roads and fully supported. In this years case the actual event takes place 3 days before the real tour passes through.

Last year there are about 7,500 participants but it isn't really a 'fun' tape event and there is a sweep vehicle to clear the course - some people I know had the ignomy of being picked up in last years event.

Next years event will be on 20 July (so ample opportunity to combine with your summer holiday!) and covers the route between Pau - Bayonne (thats France!) and approximately 197 km (about 123 miles in real money).

Other than that I don't know much except that I am almost certainly going to do it! and that entries open on 29 January 2001.

You can find an introduction to the event here and details about the stage here.

As you can see there a bit of a steep climb between 98 and 110 k but then its all downhill to the finish.

If you're wondering whether you can do it without taking the shopping basket off your bike, or whether the seat on your Raleigh Chopper will be comfortable enough for 197k then you probably shouldn't apply.

Anyone interested e-mail me and I will see about getting a group entry.


  • What? Not Alpe d'Huez? Wusses!!
  • You mad fools you !

    I'm planning on seeing the tour on Alpe d'Huez and getting a few rides in whilst I'm there. Shouldn't affect my running too much but my endurance on the bike has suffered so 120+ Mountainous miles does not really appeal to me !

    Bike handling needs to be good for this as the roads do get very busy on sections.

    Good luck !
  • see you on Alp dhuez cougie, i will be the one pushing the bike near the top! hope it doesnt rain. racing down the mounting after the race is loads more fun.
  • A mere 8.8 kms of a near one in 10 climb near the end of a 120 mile ride!!!

    I don't think I'd manage it even with Tom Simpson's drugs and a triple chainset (not that I would ever stoop to using a triple).

  • Hi Alan - you can't push the bike - not with those crowds !! Try wearing a Tour Yellow jersey and the crowd will probably push you.

    If you want a challenge - try descending down the back way of the Alpe. You start off descending and then you have to climb over a pass which is higher than the Alpe again ! Oh and there is gravel all over the road - I loved it !

    (And smile for the photographer - he gets shots of all the cyclists riding up !)
  • Bugger doing that without the 27 gears of my MTB and slapping it into granny at the first sight of a big hill. Might put slicks on to help though rather than the winter knobblies.
  • Do what i do,sit in and hang on to your mates seat post, then jump em at the top, works every time! Bring me that Yellow Jersey
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