CYCLISTS might just be that bit more excited now that the legendary Tour de France is nearing its closing stages.
This event is huge on the world stage as the best cyclists in the world tackle various stages over three weeks of riding in France. The ‘tour’ is also renowned for their mountain stages as riders pit themselves against steep climbs in the French Alps and the Pyrenees.
For the amateur looking to replicate one stage of the ‘tour’, look no further than the Snowy Mountains L’Étape Australia held in December in Jindabyne.
This year will be third running of the event and organisers are excited for 2018, just as the riders should be as L’Étape Australia recently won “Best Regional Event” and “Best Public Event” in both NSW and Australia.
One of the most anticipated events is the notorious climb of Col de Beloka, and the long ascent on the Col de Kosciuszko to Perisher.
The 2018 route also sees some changes with the big news that both the Ride and Race events, two separate distances will both start and finish in Jindabyne. The Race will start at 6.30am and the Ride at 8.30am.
Banjo Paterson Park will be headquarters for everything this year, registration, social, start and finish line and the awards ceremony. It is expected that the park will have entertainment and really turn up the atmosphere for the event.
The change of route will see the Race event extended to 170km distance, and the Ride slightly shorter than previous years at 108km.
The event will have two new Ambassadors for L’Étape Australia 2018, with the 2012 and 2016 Australian National Champion Amanda Spratt and cobbled classics specialist Mathew Hayman.
These two homegrown professional riders who won their first races in Australia and are riding for the only Australia UCI World Tour Team: Mitchelton-SCOTT will ride alongside entrants as they negotiate the course themselves.
L’Étape Australia Director Florent Malézieux said that answering the riders’ demands was his primary concern.
“Renewing the race course, proposing a user-friendly registration platform and welcoming Australian ambassadors were our key targets for 2018,” said Malézieux.
“I’m really honoured to welcome Amanda and Mathew in the L’Étape Australia family, they embody the event and Australian cycling very well. They are smiling, hard workers and win races! I’m looking forward to welcoming everyone in Jindabyne for what will be an incomparable cycling festival.”
Since its inception in 2016, L’Étape Australia by le Tour de France has provided a new level of riding experience in Australia, combining the beauty of the Snowy Mountains, the incredible enthusiasm of the locals and an event run to Tour de France professional standards.
In 2016 and 2017 L’Étape Australia was the largest Tour de France event held outside France, providing amateur riders with an experience as close to riding in the Tour de France as possible with fully closed roads and a mountainous course that is the equal of a mountainous stage of the Tour de France.
Riders have also loved how the local Snowy Mountains communities have embraced the event. Streets are lined with yellow, green and polka dot colours, cow bells and flags are waved by well-wishers in the towns and on isolated country roads groups cheer the riders on their journey.
One of the highlights in 2018 will undoubtably be the start and finish in Jindabyne which will be L’Étape Australia Village headquarters. The atmosphere is expected to be even greater than previous years.
The event will run on Saturday December 1 and to register or for more information visit www.letapeaustralia.com
To save on registration for L’Étape Australia, register before midnight (AEST) Sunday 29 July using the promo code