By Steve Cuff
Ahead of this weekend’s L’Étape Australia by le Tour de France, Deputy Premier, Minister for Regional NSW and Member for Monaro John Barilaro and L’Étape Australia Director Florent Malézieux today announced the return of the event to the Snowy Mountains in 2019.
At an announcement in Banjo Paterson Park in Jindabyne, L’Étape Australia Director Florent Malezieux welcomed the news as did a local contingent of Jindabyne Cycling Club members and supports of the event.
Mr Barilaro said that over the last three years the excitement around L’Étape being in this region has given us the opportunity to showcase this fantastic region right across the globe.
Cycling legend Chris Froome was an ambassador the past two years which projected Jindabyne onto the world cycling stage. No amount of local advertising money could buy this exposure which has elevated the Snowy Mountains to all cyclists around Australia and the world.
Mr Barilaro further pointed out tourism is important in the region which is set up perfectly to host global sporting events.
“The original commitment (L’Étape Australia) was three years and the State Government has negotiated an additional year. I would love to see it here for the next decade, but it gives us an opportunity to have another year of investing in this region and I think it is exciting.”
L’Étape Australia Director Florent Malezieux said they are very excited to be back in 2019 in the Snowy Mountains but have the 2018 edition of L’Étape which will be amazing.
“There will be lots of marques, entertainment and massive concert on Saturday with Brad Cox, everyone is welcome and invited to come along for free and celebrate with all the riders in Banjo Paterson Park,” said Mr Malezieux.
“More than 3000 riders will be on the road this year which is fantastic, and everyone will start on Kosciuszko Road and finish just here (Banjo Paterson Park). Jindabyne is the centre of L’Étape and I should even say that Jindabyne is the centre of the L’Étape series globally. For the third year in a row, the L’Étape Australia is the biggest Tour de France event outside of France.
“This fantastic achievement with the support of NSW Government, we have been able to create an amazing event, one of the most beautiful cycling events in Australia and also thanks to the support of the local community.”
Mr Malezieux said that when they ask the riders why they love L’Étape, they replied, “they love the closed roads, they love the scenery but they love the support of the local community, all the green bikes, the yellow bikes.”
With over 3000 riders and their family and friends, Jindabyne will swell with an estimated 5500 visitors this weekend.
This is a boom for the local region and the town of Jindabyne with Mr Barilaro stating this event alone injects over $2.6 million directly into the Jindabyne and surrounding towns economy for this extended weekend.
On the back of this event over the past two years, it has raised the profile of cycling in the Snowy Mountains which sees groups of riders return to the region after the L’Étape and in other seasons.
As a tourist town the local community should endeavour to show their support for this weekend’s event and thank the organisers of the L’Étape Australia for showing faith in our town.
Local rider and Jindabyne Cycling Club President Gary Pearson said it’s great to see it extend for an extra year.
“The cycling community is really happy about it and we think there is a great future for it and for cycling and cycling tourism in particular. But as long as it is worked out well with the community and the community is not put offside it will have a great future,” said Mr Pearson.
Snowy Monaro Regional Councillor John Castellari said, “I love this event, it brings people into town, it also lifts the spirit of people and it focuses on all those great things we have in Jindabyne. It brings a big boost to the economy and we are up for it, we’ve got the accommodation and we have the experience.”
On Friday riders will arrive and check in at Banjo Paterson Park. Saturday morning there are two race starts, 6.30am for the longer Race and 8.30 for shorter Ride.
Both events finish in Jindabyne with the L’Étape Australia village in Banjo Paterson Park.
You can see more L’Étape information in the Snowy Mountains Magazine current print version, or online version here.
For all traffic and related road closures please visit the Live Traffic website for all updates.
There will be road closures, rolling road closures plus contra flow through Jindabyne from 8.45am.
You can find more event cycling information on website www.letapeaustralia.com.