Etape du Tour
L'Etape du Tour
The 2014 Etape du Tour replicating Stage 18 of the 2014 Tour de France from Pau and finish at the ski resort of Hautacam near Lourdes was yet again an amazing event, with the weather adding to the degree of difficulty experienced by the riders.
The 22nd edition of the Etape du Tour had nearly 10,000 entrants from 94 countries across the Globe. Riders departed from Place de Verdun in the centre of Pau in early morning, with them split into 13 different waves to avoid congestion and help with safety. By the time the event approached the top of the Col du Tourmalet, there was rain and fog, with temperatures dropping to 10c - this made the descent tricky and difficult for many, although no cyclist expects an easy Etape!
The 13.6km climb to the top of the Hautacam proved as tough as anticipated, possibly even tougher than many thought, with the weather adding that extra bit of difficulty. Nearly 8,500 cyclists managed to complete the Etape, with times varying from 4 hours 47 minutes right up to nearly 12 hours!
The Etape du Tour is one sportive all riders want to complete due to its connection with the Tour de France. If you would like to particpate in the 2015 Etape du Tour, please sign up for our newsletter and we will send you the details when they are announced alongside the 2015 Tour de France route announcement in October 2014. Each year the route and lcoation of the Etape changes, with it replicating one of the key stages of the Tour de France.
If you would like to read a report of the 2013 Etape, read the report by Road Cycling UK's Assistant Editor George Scott on the Road Cycling UK website.
As a guide, below are details of the 2014 Etape du Tour and what our 2014 Etape du Tour travel packages typically consisted of:
- The option to buy a guaranteed entry to the Etape du Tour
- A choice of hotels in the Etape start town - Pau
- Return airport transfers for you and your bike from Toulouse, Biarritz and Pau airports.
- Bike storage at your hotel
- Assistance of Sports Tours reps and mechanics
- Access to our Etape training updates from January
- Years of Etape experience
- UK bike transport options (see below)
- Etape training camps (Available at extra cost)
- Etape du Tour goodie bag
- A Sports Tours International cycling jersey
- Payments are financially protected by ABTA
We will be offering a number of different Etape packages, together with a guaranteed entry into the Etape du Tour. By taking a package tour to the Etape du Tour, you will benefit from our wealth of logistical experience in taking people to this special event.
Etape du Tour bike transport option
We are also offering a UK Bike transport service, where we take your bike from the UK down to France for the Etape. This has the advantage of:
- Guaranteed delivery of your bike, as opposed to leaving it in the hands of the airlines
- No dragging around of your bike at the airport
- Convenient drop off/ collection points around the UK at Edinburgh, Stockton on Tees, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Slough and London Orpington.
- Up to a week to drop off your bike to the collection points, with up to a week to collect your bike after the return to the UK.
Your bike needs to be in a bike box or in a bike bag. The cost of this service is £100 return which is cheaper than the cost of flying with your bike and paying the transfer cost at the other end too.
Please note that you will be required to bring a medical certificate with you to registration, stating there are no known reasons why you should not take part in the event.
Either ask your own doctor to complete a form or visit www.sportsmedicalcertificates.co.uk where you can enter your details for online medical certification. You must present the completed form along with your passport at the Etape registration village in order to receive your number to compete. Sports Tours International can accept no responsibility for failure to comply with this instruction, and no refunds will be given.
L'Etape du Tour 2014 - Pau to Lourdes-Hautacam
The Etape du Tour 2014 will take place in the Pyrenees on Sunday the 20th July 2014. Replicating Stage 18 of the 2014 Tour de France, it will start from the Pyrenean gateway of Pau and finish at the ski resort of Hautacam near Lourdes. This stage is a virtual re-run of the stage in the 2008 Tour de France.
It's a classic Pyrenean stage with as a main feature the ever difficult climb of the Col du Tourmalet. Like last year there will be a sting in the tail with the mountain top finish in Hautacam. At 145km it is an attractive proposition for both the experienced cyclo sportive rider and the Etape du Tour novice.
Very Important Please be aware that the Etape du Tour is a serious cyclo sportive. It is ridden at a strong pace and if you are not quick enough, you will be swept up by the Broom Wagon on one of the climbs or even earlier, so it is important to do a lot of training in the months proceeding the event. You should be able to ride on the flat at a pace of 25/27kph (minimum) and be able to climb in the mountains at over 12/15 kph, even for the steepest sections, and your stamina really must be good enough to last the full distance. If not, you will fail to finish, which is not what you, we or the event organisers want. So, you must get yourself a good training plan or, better still, join one of our cycling training camps or spend some time training at Club La Santa in Lanzarote.
Keep an eye on our website where, from January, we will publish our Etape training plan to give you a hand.
For more information about the event itself, visit our Etape du Tour frequently asked questions section.