A preview of L'Etape du Tour - video

Check out the amateur stage that precedes Stage 20 of the Tour de France as over 10,000 cyclists take part

As far as professional sport goes, pro cycling has long been one of the most accessible. The rarified air of Twickenham or Lord’s remains just that to the many weekend exponents of Cricket or Rugby. Take the sport out of a stadium however, and a whole world of possibility opens up.

It is the most tantalizing of possibilities for the aspiring cyclist that they too can cycle every inch of the Tour de France, if they were deranged enough to try it (and some certainly are). Those with more sense in their heads and less time on their hands will more often than not tackle iconic sections of the great race, and often compare their times with those of the professional peloton – often to much disappointment.

Such was the enthusiasm for riding the great climbs of the Tour that ASO (organisers of the Tour de France) decided to hold an amateur stage, on which a mix of elite amateurs and nervous office workers challenge themselves annually. ‘L’Etape du Tour’ now comes complete with feed stations, time checks, and even the dreaded to broom wagon to ‘sweep’ up you if you’re riding too slowly. The event has fast become a badge of honor for enthusiastic riders, and now pulls in a crowd of over 10,000 people and is one of the largest participation events in Europe.

In response, there are many guides to L’Etape springing up, as apprehensive competitors search desperately for their own ‘marginal gains’. After watching a few, perhaps the most pleasing to the eye is the guide produced by Team Sky and their sponsor Jaguar, which also contains a helpful recipe for the soon-to-be Etape riders.

L’Etape du Tour takes place on 7 July 2013, on the route of stage 20 of the Tour de France between Annecy and Annecy-Semnoz.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Immediate Start

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test