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  • By Steve Cuff

    OFFICIALS of L’Étape Australia will hold a community meeting in Jindabyne on September 19 where they will discuss aspects of the cycling race to be held on Saturday December 1 this year.

    Followers will know that this year the start and finish will be in Jindabyne for both the ride and race categories, with Banjo Paterson Park being the major focus and site of the L’Étape Australia Village.

    Organisers have been working to implement their full schedule of entertainment and extra activities to supplement the actual cycling event. Residents are reminded there will be road closures on the day, and the race beginning at 6.30am and the ride beginning at 8.30am.
    More details of road closures will follow in later months.

    At the community meeting they will provide updates on the event as a whole and advise of other facets that may be of interest to schools, volunteers and the local area in general.

    L’Étape Ambassadors Mathew Hayman, Amanda Spratt and Matthew Keenan are some of the biggest names in cycling and leading into the event organisers have advised they will be visiting local schools to give speeches and share their passion for cycling with the youngsters.
    The speeches will include introducing the students to the sport of cycling, present information about the Tour de France, which is the biggest annual sporting event in the world and discuss the passion for cycling that has seen each of them reach the very elite in their sport.
    For the older students the ambassadors will hold talks and cover the mechanics of the sport but also the physiologic aspects of cycling.
    For any older students who would like to gain more of an insight into cycling and the L’Étape Australia event, they will be invited to volunteer on the Saturday in the L’Étape Australia village.

    SBS cycling commentator and L’Étape Australia ambassador Matthew Keenan and fellow ambassador Amanda Spratt.

    The event is aiming to better their previous entries and attract upwards of 4000 riders, and with an event of this magnitude comes many logistics.
    For this reason, the organisers are asking for local volunteers to be involved with a target of over 200 people.
    There are many different roles available: from the registration packs and the information points to marshalling on the race course, food zones and managing the start line.
    With the new race format starting and finishing in Jindabyne, the majority of these will be in town.

    Volunteers are required for the event and can register via the website.

    Race officials will be liaising with key volunteers who would like to be team leaders to help recruit other local residents who they know would like to assist.
    One key reason local volunteers are sought after is for their knowledge of the surrounds which will be highly informative to the visiting competitors and their families.
    Every volunteer will receive a uniform, a volunteer certificate (recognising the work done during L’Étape – very useful for the young professionals) and will be invited to the volunteers’ barbecue where the ambassadors will be in attendance.
    Volunteers do have to register their interest online at www.letapeaustralia.com.

    All community members and volunteers are welcome to attend the meeting, with volunteer registrations taken on the evening.
    Breakout box below story
    The community meeting will take place at the Rydges Jindabyne at 6:30pm on Wednesday 19th September.

    The L’Etape Australia is one of the biggest events in Jindabyne attracting towards 4000 riders and visitation of over 10,000 people.