Thursday, 12 July 2012 00:00

L'Etape du Tour



I'm sitting writing this in front of the TV as the pro peleton begins Stage 11 of the Tour de France from Albertville to La Touissure. It's always exciting when Eurosport get to show the whole stage and the skimishing to get in the break of the day is currently underway. This is a stage I've been particularly looking forward to as it featured as this year's Etape Acte 1 and so it's one that I've studied closely as I've had the pleasure of supporting a number of cyclists preparing for this stage (which they attempted on Sunday). Acte 2 features the Pyrennean stage from Pau to Bagneres du Luchon which will offer another great challenge with the added bonus of being ridden on Bastille Day. Expect the whole of France to be en fĂȘte!

Tour de France 2012: Stage 11 profile

The Etape is an event that I am particularly fond of. Having come into cycling after following the Tour for a number of years (and dare I say it, becoming a bit of a Lance fan...) the thought of completing a stage in the biggest sporting event is a mouth watering prospect and a terrific challenge. Fast forward a few years and being now emmersed in the world of coaching this enthusiasm has not dimmed and the experience of working with a number of riders attempting this challenge over the past years has only intensified my love of this event.


This year for example, has been a fantastic year for the people I've met as a result of the Etape and while many of the stories are similar in the goals and motivations for attempting a stage, each person has their own challenges and motivations. In my opinion, the Etape is very close to replacing the London Marathon as the most high profile mass participation sporting challenge. Each year I speak with a number of cyclists with common themes for attempting the Etape: a high profile goal to mark a return to cycling after a number of years off the bike, a catalyst to lose some weight and improve body composition and health, a novice cyclist looking to challenge their new found riding skills and fitness or a racing cyclist looking to see how they stack up against the very best. For one event to appeal to such a diverse group of cyclists is a key factor in it being such a great event.

A huge well done to all the cyclists who've worked so hard in the first part of this year and put in such a great effort on Sunday and best of luck to those riding on Saturday. A special mention to Alex who has the entire Cycling Weekly readership waiting to see how he gets on!


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Saturday, 13 September 2014 15:59

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