~ by Steve Cuff of Snowy Mountains Magazine.
To coincide with the opening of Early Bird Registrations for the 2017 L’Étape Australia, Tour de France reigning champion Chris Froome has announced he will be riding in L’Étape Australia by le Tour de France in the NSW Snowy Mountains on 2 December 2017.
For the second year running, the biggest name in world cycling will ride with thousands of amateur riders on 157km of fully closed roads in the Snowy Mountains. While fans can watch Chris Froome ride in professional races or on TV, this is the only opportunity to actually ride with him.
John Barilaro, Deputy Premier and Member for Monaro said, “The NSW Government is proud to once again support L’Etape Australia by le Tour de France which will provide a huge boost to the local visitor economy. I encourage cyclists across the country to register to be part of this exciting experience in the Snowy Mountains which provides the opportunity to ride with three time Tour de France champion Chris Froome, one of the giants of world cycling.”
L’Étape Australia by le Tour de France is a unique road cycle event that provides an experience as close to riding in the Tour de France as it is possible for an amateur to get.
Staged in the Australian NSW Snowy Mountains on 157km of fully closed roads and run under professional Tour de France Race conditions, the route includes a 350m Sprint section and two challenging King of the Mountain sections.
Of the 3,500 riders in the inaugural event in 2016, 96% said the event was good or very good and 95% said they would recommend the event to their family and friends.
The course is described by Tour de France Director General Christian Prudhomme as “providing a very similar experience for riders to a mountainous stage of the Tour de France; traversing through a multitude of stunning landscapes and topographies and truly challenging climbs”.
There are two distances, The Race of 157km and The Ride of 126km. The ride includes the Sprint section in Berridale and the infamous first King of the Mountain section Col de Beloka, but excludes the final push up Col Kosciuszko to Perisher.
The local communities have truly embraced the Tour de France coming to the Snowy Mountains. The entire route is decorated with cycling paraphernalia, some exquisite works of art. The towns and villages have adopted the colours of the Tour de France: yellow (Jindabyne), green (Berridale) and polka dot (Dalgety). Last year thousands of locals lined the route with their cow bells, flags and encouragement; the welcome from the local community was extraordinary and created a wonderful ambience throughout the day.
Individual riders vie for Tour de France jerseys, the genuine articles presented at the Champs-Elysées; Yellow for the overall male and female Race winner, Green for the fastest male and female in the Race in the Sprint section, Polka Dot for the fastest male and female in the Race on the combined King of the Mountain sections and white for the fastest male and female rider in the Race under 25 years of age.
Riders can enter as individuals, teams of nine or larger groups.
Early Bird Registrations opened 6pm, Wednesday 24 May, CLICK HERE.