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What awaits you in the 2018 Etape du Tour?


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The worlds most famous Sportive – what awaits you in the 2018 L’Etape du Tour?

If you’ve never experienced the Etape du Tour before then contact us today and we can get you out to the Alps on July 8th. For those already entered, the following information might prove useful.

This is a test of the legs and the mind for sure, but is certainly achievable for almost anyone with a little bit of training, motivation and determination. The challenge coupled with the history of Le Tour and the atmosphere on the day is what makes this event one of the most special. Oh – don’t forget that the route changes every year, so this is a unique chance to be one of the few to experience this year’s!

Location: The 28th edition of the Etape du Tour starts on the shores of Lake Annecy and finishes up in Le Grand Bornand.

The route replicates Stage 10 of this year’s Tour de France. The worlds best riders take on this stage on July 17th so you can test yourself over exactly the same course with completely closed roads. The area is packed with stunning cycling routes both on and off road.

We recommend flying into Geneva Airport since transfers are easily arranged. Staying near the finish is recommended since it saves you the hassle of getting back to Annecy after a long days riding. Our hotel is located in Saint Jean de Sixt.

Stats: 169km / 105miles – 4017m / 13,180ft of climbing / 4 Cols / 15,000 Riders

The Etape du Tour is a huge event with 15000 riders taking to the start line in Annecy. Its organised by ASO who run the Tour de France and has been going for 28 years so the whole setup is pretty slick. You can wander round the massive cycling Expo on the Saturday before getting down to your start pen on Sunday morning.

They even have Didi the Devil to send you on your way !

Four Categorised Climbs:

Col de la Croix Fry (STRAVA)

Its a false flat for most of the route until you get to the pretty town of Thônes, and then on to the first categorised climb, the Col de la Croix Fry (11.1km at 7.2%). It will be a gorgeous road and you will probably be buzzing from the event atmopshere but it’s also the longest climb of the day and is still a Cat 1 when the Tour passes.

Col des Gileres (STRAVA)

After the Col de la Croix Fry, its a rapid descent through La Clusaz and St-Jean de Sixt (passing very close to the finish and our hotel if you need to have a quick stop!) and then through to the second categorised climb of the day, the Montée du Plateau des Glières (6km at 11.2%). This is a brutal climb which is on a very narrow road that is a potential bottleneck if – as seems likely – some riders have to stop and walk.

If the heat is up then be careful on this one and take the chance to grab a drink at the top on the beautiful Plateau des Glières. One of the highlights of this year’s Tour de France, its monument to the French Resistance stands proud and the much-talked-about 1.5km gravel track. 25mm tyres are recommended for this and also general comfort if you run them at a slightly lower pressure.

The short uphill section in the middle could be tricky if it rains on the day.

Col de Romme (STRAVA)

A fast descent follows into the village of Thorens-Glières and you then you go straight onto the next uncategorised climb, the Col des Fleuries (5km at 4.6%) before another cheeky descent to the valley floor, through the towns of La Roche-sur-Foron and Bonneville (again, usually with a tailwind). Its then onto The Col de Romme (8.8km at 8.9%) will hurt with 130km already in the legs.

A very tough climb with a punishing and relentless gradient, it serves to soften up the legs before the final challenge…..

Col de la Colombière (STRAVA)

Finally, The Col de la Colombière (7.5km at 8.5%). The Romme route means missing out on the slightly easier bottom section of the Colombière. Unfortunately, the top part from Le Reposoir onwards is one of those climbs that lulls you into a false sense of security in the opening stretches before hammering you towards the end.

For the last 3km, the gradient is above 10%, and while the col sits within tantalising view for much of this stretch, it seems to take an age to reach. Then there’s one final glorious, fast descent to the finish in Le Grand-Bornand.

If you need accommodation then our hotel is 1km away from Grand-Bornand. For entry, rooms & transfers along with OTE Nutrition packs then get in contact and we can help you take on the Etape du Tour 2018 !