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Christine & Graham Lynch

00 33 (0) 6 74 44 18 52

L'Etape du Tour

Perhaps the most famous cyclosportive event in the world, the Etape du Tour gives amateur riders a chance to ride a stage of the Tour de France while the great race itself is on. For many this is the highlight of a cycling career. The Etape is held on one of the more challenging mountain stages, and each year around 8000 cyclists apply with closed roads, marshalls, gendarmes, feed stations and big crowds giving a true taste of what it's like to ride the Tour de France. The event even attracts famous Tour names like Greg Lemond.

Many of the recent Etapes have been held in the Pyrenees, proving that this really is the best place for road cycling. Graham successfully rode the 2008 Etape from Pau to the ski resort of Hautacam, via that famous Pyrénéen giant, the Col du Tourmalet. Around 6000 riders managed to battle through the rainy weather to the finish in the required time.

We now know that the Etape for 2010 will once again feature the Col du Tourmalet. The course starts in Pau and takes in the steep Col de Marie-Blanque, then the Col du Soulor before finishing at the top of the Tourmalet. The event will be held on Sunday 18th July, with the actual Tour riders doing the same course just four days later.

So, if you are training for the Etape or a similar cycling course, come and join us. We can help your preparation with routes and climbs to match the event you are aiming for. Read the bike blog to see how Graham's preparations went.

The official Etape du Tour website has more info.

Lining up for a dawn start in Pau

Slogging up the Tourmalet in the rain

Success - tired but with medals!