L’ÉTAPE AUSTRALIA BY LE TOUR DE FRANCE

29 & 30 NOVEMBER 2019

Lateral Events, in partnership with A.S.O (owners of the Tour de France) and SBS, own and manage L’Étape Australia by le Tour de France – the largest Tour de France event staged outside France, and the most prestigious and challenging road cycling race in Australia.

L’Étape Australia by le Tour de France is a unique road cycling event that provides an experience as close to riding in the Tour de France as it is possible for an amateur to get. In 2018, Australian National Champion (2012 and 2016) Amanda Spratt and cobbled classics specialist Mathew Hayman rode the event with thousands of amateur riders.

Staged in the Australian NSW Snowy Mountains on 170km of fully closed roads and run under professional Tour de France Race conditions, the route included two challenging King of the Mountain sections.

With a distance of 170km and an elevation gain of 3,000m, the course is described by Tour de France Director 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 were two distances, both starting and finishing in Jindabyne; The Race of 170km and the Ride of 108km. The Ride includes the infamous first King of the Mountain section Col de Beloka, but excludes the final push up Col de Kosciuszko to Perisher.

The local communities have truly embraced the Tour de France coming to the Snowy Mountains. The entire route was decorated with cycling paraphernalia and 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). Thousands of locals line the route with their cow bells, flags and encouragement; the welcome from the local community is extraordinary and creates a wonderful ambience throughout the day.

Australian cyclists Amanda Spratt and Mathew Hayma provided a clinic on Friday, and on Saturday they rode with the amateurs.

Tour de France commentator Matt Keenan also attended L’Étape Australia in 2018, hosted the clinic, the Village and called the riders across the line at the Race and the Ride finish line.

The route began in Jindabyne, winding its way with undulating hills through Rocky Plains before reaching the first food zone in Berridale. From there the route took us to Dalgety before the first King of the Mountain section tackling the daunting Col de Beloka, known locally as The Wall. The Ride finished back in Jindabyne, while the Race pushed up the second King of the Mountain section, Col de Kosciuszko, before coming back to Jindabyne where everyone – riders, supporters and locals – celebrated in the event village.

Individual riders vied for Tour de France jerseys, the genuine articles presented at the Champs-Elysées;

  • Yellow for the overall male and female Race winners,
  • 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.