Saturday, 17 November 2012

L'Etape du Tour 2013 - The route ridden and documented

Well the ASO have announced details of the route for the 2013 edition of the L'Etape du Tour and it will be held on Sunday 7th July using the same route as the professional cyclists will use on stage 20 of next years Tour de France, although us amateurs will actually be riding a few more miles than the Pro's. So what will the route be like for an Amateur to ride? 

A little further on in this post you will find a link to a recently written blog post by a friend of mine, Phil Sinclair, detailing his impressions of the route when he rode it earlier this week. It's an interesting read and contains some valuable information and insights for anyone taking part in, or contemplating, next years l'etape. (Just in case you don't want to read the Pixies own rambling thoughts on the subject, you can go straight to Phil's account of his day riding the route here!) 

The organisers describe the route as follows "the Etape du Tour will allow cyclists to use roads in the penultimate stage of the 100th edition of the Grande Boucle. Annecy - Annecy Semnoz: 130km of a breaking and selective route in the Alps before a summit finish Semnoz, on the balcony of Mont Blanc."

The start looks like it will be in the heart of Annecy and will then take the following route;
Albertville (D1508) – St-Jorioz – La Chapelle St Maurice – Bellecombe en Bauges – Le Chatelard – Aillon le Vieux – Thoiry – St Jean d’Arvey – La Féclaz – Trévignin – St Offenge Dessus – Pont de l’Abîme – Gruffy – Quintal – Montée du Semnoz

As can be seen from the above profile there are a number of significant lumpy bits that will need to be climbed and the official list is as follows;

Côte de Puget (5,4 km at 5.8%)
Col de Leschaux (3,6 km at 6.2%)
Côte de Aillons-le-Vieux (6 km at 4%)
Col des Prés (3,5 km at 6.5%)
Col du Mont-Revard (16 km at 5.4%)
Montée finale du Semnoz (11 km at 8.3%)

What is the route like to ride? 
In the weeks since the route details were announced I have seen numerous conversations on Twitter and Internet forums talking about how difficult (or not) next years route is going to be. Many of the people taking part in these discussions are seasoned l'etape'ers and have plenty of experience to draw on when putting forward their views, however have they actually ridden the route or are they looking at maps and profiles in order to draw their conclusions?

As I mentioned earlier in this post, Phil Sinclair, who has previously been a guest blogger on my blog, actually rode the route earlier this week and his own blog contains an account of that ride together with photos he took on the day. Phil is a seasoned l'etap'er with many years experience of competing in the event and as such I would say that his thoughts on the route are probably going to provide a valuable early insight into what we can expect on the day of the event.

Phils own account of his day riding the 2013 L'Etape route can be found here 

If you are interested in reading Phils previous blog post on taking part in Sportives and L'Etape it can be found here Phil Sinclair on Sportives and L'Etape 

Many thanks to Phil for providing this useful early preview of what the route is actually like to ride and hopefully if you are reading this and Phils blog post as somebody who will be riding in the 2013 L'etape du Tour, the information provided will in some way inform your training and preparations.

The official ASO L'Etape du Tour web site can be found here

Another UK based site "L'Etape du Tour" for L'Etape competitors which provides a wealth of information and support can be found here (

As always thanks for taking the time to vist the Pixies blog and hopefully you will be able to pop back some time in the future to see how my own training and preparations for next years L'etape du Tour are coming along.

Dha weles diwettha


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