Letape du Tour – Riding a Stage of the Tour de France
In 2020, L’Etape du Tour will be held for the 30th time. This year, on September 6, the course covers 177 kilometres and three long climbs around the coastal town of Nice at the Cote d’Azur.
The 30th edition of L’Etape du Tour will not take place on July 5, 2020 as originally planned but has been rescheduled to September 6, 2020 due to the Corona pandemic. It will be held on the original course of the second stage of the Tour de France around Nice.
177 kilometres, three long climbs and almost 4000 metres of difference in altitude await the approx. 16,000 participants. The only course sections amateur athletes won’t have to ride are the last 13-kilometre loop and the ascent up to the Col des Quatre Chemins.
- For the first time in the history of the event, which premiered in 1993, a loop is ridden – i.e. start and finish are at the same place.
- 2020 L’Etape du Tour will take place on Saturday September 6 on the original course of the 2nd stage of the Tour de France in Nice.
- The course of the amateur race L’Etape du Tour is 177 kilometres long and has three long climbs.
- One week before the 16,000 female and male amateur athletes ride the course, the pros will determine the winner of the second stage of the Tour de France here.
Video: Preview of the stage profile of 2020 L’Etape du Tour
L’Etape du Tour is on the bucket list of many non-professional cyclists, just like Ötztal Bike Marathon, Tour of Flanders, Amstel Gold Race or the participation in a 24-hour race. In other words, it is a once-in-a-lifetime competition, and since everyone likes to come back to the place of their greatest triumph and hardest defeat, this event is ridden by many so-called “repeat offenders”.
For the majority of participants, the main reason to do this event is to ride on an original stage of the Tour de France, they at least once want to enjoy the atmosphere and be cheered on by spectators alongside the roads closed to traffic. Hardly anybody tries to finish in times comparable to those of the pro riders, who literally flash by in comparison to the amateur athletes.
Same Streets like the Pro Peloton
Exactly one week after the professional cyclists of the 2020 Tour de France conquer this section, the “Cyclosportifs” will be racing there – mostly against themselves. On September 6 – the 30th anniversary of this very special amateur event – the course will not lead into the Alps or the Pyrenees as in previous events. Instead, Nice, the Cote d’Azur and the surrounding mountain ranges – the Maritime Alps – provide the backdrop for this year’s event.
In contrast to last year, when the peloton went into an ascent right away, the approx. 16,000 participants this year have the opportunity to “warm up” for the first 50 kilometres. This is how long it will take until the first of three climbs will wait to be conquered.
Stage Profile with 3 Climbs
The ascent to Col de la Colmiane (1500 m) – also known as Col Saint Martin – is 16.3 kilometres long and averages 6.3 percent. Even if many amateur athletes are not familiar with the ascent, it has already been the heart of the “Spring Tour de France” aka Paris-Nice several times. Simon Yates won the seventh stage of this climb at the 2018 “Race to the Sun”.
After a 20-kilometre descent down to La Bollène-Vésubie at 522 metres, the second and toughest climb of the race follows immediately. It goes up to the 1607-metre-high Col de Turini, the road winds up over 14.9 kilometres with an average of 7.4 percent. The Col de Turini is well known to many sports fans from Rallye Monte Carlo.
On the mountain stage “Night of the Long Knives” the overall winner is often determined here. But not only at the Rallye. The Colombian shooting star Egan Bernal also manifested his victory at 2019 Paris-Nice there, too.
From the summit of the Turini, a long descent leads down to Nice. But the finish line is not yet reached. Despite the enticingly cool sea being so close, amateur cyclists still have to climb Col d’Eze (407 metres), which has already determined the overall winner at many Paris-Nice events.
At race kilometre 157 the road rises for the last time for 7.8 kilometres at an average of 6.1 percent. The final 12 kilometres down to Nice then are merely a triumphal ride for all participants.
As in 2018 and 2019, Alpecin will once again be at the start with a team of amateur athletes to enjoy this unique atmosphere.
Letape du Tour: First Race in 1993
History: L’Etape du Tour premiered in the Pyrenees in 1993 L’Etape du Tour was first held in the Pyrenees on July 20, 1993. At that time the 1705 participants travelled from Tarbes to Pau on the original course of the 17th stage of the Tour of France over 190 kilometres via Col du Tourmalet, Col du Soulor and Col de l’Aubisque.
Of the 1705 participants from a total of 49 countries, 1385 amateur athletes reached the finish. The first to cross the finish line was 20-year-old Frenchman Christophe Rinero, who five years later finished fourth overall in the “real” Tour de France