This coming 2 April 2017, the ‘L’Étape by Le Tour de France’ will get underway in South Africa, before heading to 12 other countries on five continents. Organised by A.S.O, the calendar will allow amateurs riders to measure themselves on routes worthy of the ‘Grande Boucle’ and share unforgettable emotions in an event sporting the colours of the Tour de France.
A pro cyclist ambassador will join the enthusiasts at each event. While the race lets amateurs to imagine themselves as a Tour champion, A.S.O notes that it also allows them ride alongside their idols. In 2016, Chris Froome (three-time Tour de France winner in 2013, 2015 and 2016) was on hand at the L’Étape Korea by Le Tour de France. Froome said, “The Étape is an incredible chance for riders around the world to really discover the Tour de France. And for me, it is a great opportunity to meet with cycling fans and to thank them for their year-round support. I can’t wait to meet up with them again on several events in 2017.”
The large international caravan will begin its world tour in South Africa and conclude in Australia, after events in California, Coast Rica, China, Wales, France, Colombia, London, Mexico, Brazil, Paraguay, and South Korea. As A.S.O adds, ‘Whether it is for the sporting challenge, the discovery of amazing landscapes or to share the passion of the Tour de France, each rider will find a race tailor made for them, during the season, to celebrate cycling and the Tour.’
The 2017 edition of the Étape du Tour will take place on 16 July from Briançon and finish on the ‘Col d’Izoard’. 15,000 participants are expected to most notably take on the Col de Vars and the final climb towards the Izoard, the highest finish in the history of the L’Étape du Tour.