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04-04-2022 | Herman Nekkers

L'Étape's Tour vibe

Do you know L'Étape du Tour? This year marks the thirtieth edition. While many riders aim for the Marmotte, Les Trois Ballons the Maratona, there is remarkably little interest in France's biggest cycling spectacle. Why?

L'Étape du Tour

Please ask your average cyclist the following three questions. Where would you like to ride? Chances are France is the answer. What is your favorite cycling event? For many that will be the Tour. What gran fondo would you like to ride in France? Usually the Marmotte or Les Trois Ballons.

For French and British people, there is only one gran fondo that really counts: L'Étape du Tour. To give you an idea, there are 16,000 participants at the start this year and tickets were fully booked in 4 hours. This makes it one of the most popular cycling events in Europe. Many riders love both the Tour and French gran fondos. It is therefore a mystery why the interest from our some countries is always so limited. Unknown makes unloved? Or arranging transport between the start and finish location?

What is L'Étape du Tour?

L'Étape du Tour is a real gran fondo and not just any. The route is exactly the same as one of the Tour stages of that year. Usually the event is held a few days before the pros. Completely car-free and completely in Tour atmosphere. The organization is in the hands of the ASO, the company that also organizes the Tour itself. L'Étape now has several events, including a gran fondo in Rotterdam. Of course, there is only one L'Étape du Tour.

As said, every year a different route. The distance between the start and finish location may make participation difficult. Arranging transport and accommodation requires a lot of organization. In recent years, the ASO has often taken L'Étape du Tour into account when defining the Tour route by planning a stage where start and finish are close together.

Because the event is always held a few days before the Tour stage, the start and finish locations are already completely in Tour atmosphere. Just like the places on the route. For the locals it is a big event and there is often a lot of public. You can't get any closer to that real Tour vibe.

In addition to overall rankings in various categories, there is also a separate classification for the best climber: Challenge du meilleur grimpeur. The times on the main climbs are added up and the best three climbers receive a polka dot jersey.

L'Étape du Tour

L'Étape du Tour 2022

This year's edition is one to lick your fingers. On July 10 you can ride the stage Briançon-Alpe d'Huez, in the heart of the Alps over three mythical climbs. Four days later on quatorze juillet, the pros ride the same stage as the Tour's queen stage.

The details:

DateSunday, 10 July 2022
FinishAlpe d'Huez
Distance166 km
AscentsCol du Galibier, Col de la Croix de Fer, Alpe d'Huez

A challenging course that looks a bit like a reversed version of the Marmotte.

You can still participate

Are you excited and do you want to participate this year? Our partner Destination Sport Experiences still has lots of starting tickets. Accommodation and transport will be arranged for you. You only have to worry about the cycling itself.

The following options can be booked in addition to all packages:

  • Bus transport on the morning of the gran fondo from Alpe d'Huez to Briançon (highly recommended).
  • Bus transport from/to Briançon
  • Bus transportation to/from airport (Lyon or Geneva).
  • Meal out.

There is a choice of three packages. With discount code CW2210, you will get 10% off the accommodation or a separate ticket.

  • Start ticket + apartment in Alpe d'Huez (3-9 nights): Book.
  • Start ticket + hotel in Alpe d'Huez (3 nights): Book.
  • Start ticket without accommodation: Book.

Do you have any questions about the ordering process? You'll find the answers here.

Discover the route

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