Details of the 2018 edition of L'Étape Australia by le Tour de France have been released, comprising some significant changes and improvements in response to feedback by 2017 participants. L'Étape Australia will take place on Saturday 1 December 2018. Changes include a new route starting and finishing in Jindabyne, and a simple new improved registration system, which are detailed below.
Ambassadors for L'Étape Australia 2018 will be 2012 and 2016 Australian National Champion Amanda Spratt and cobbled classics specialist Mathew Hayman, two homegrown professional riders who won their first races in Australia and are riding for the only Australia UCI World Tour Team: Mitchelton-SCOTT.
L’Étape Australia Director Florent Malézieux said, “Answering the riders’ demands is my primary concern. Renewing the race course, proposing a user-friendly registration platform and welcoming Australian ambassadors were our key targets for 2018. I’m really honoured to welcome Amanda and Mathew in the L’Étape Australia family, they embody the event and Australian cycling very well. They are smiling, hard workers and win races! I’m looking forward to welcoming everyone in Jindabyne for what will be an incomparable cycling festival.”
Mathew Hayman is thrilled to be back in Australia for L'Étape. “You don’t often get the chance to ride in the Australian high country on closed roads! I can’t wait,” he said. “As a young rider from Canberra these roads were my first experience of riding big mountains like I would come to face in Europe. Now with this event that feeling is made even more real.”
Amanda Spratt added, “L’Étape Australia is such a rare opportunity to ride on fully closed roads in one of the most beautiful parts of Australia. It’s also a great opportunity to encourage more women to participate in cycling and take up a challenge like this- it’s an event I’m proud to be involved in.”
Since its inception in 2016, L'Étape Australia by le Tour de France has provided a new level of riding experience in Australia, combining the beauty of the Snowy Mountains, the incredible enthusiasm of the locals and an event run to Tour de France professional standards. In 2016 and 2017 L’Étape Australia was the largest Tour de France event held outside France, providing amateur riders with an experience as close to riding in the Tour de France as it is possible to get with fully closed roads and a mountainous course that is the equal of a mountainous stage of the Tour de France.
The local Snowy Mountains community has embraced the Tour de France riding through their towns and villages; they come out in their thousands with cow bells and flags to encourage and support the riders along the route. The locals dress the entire area in yellow, green and polka dot; phenomenal bike artworks adorn the entire route.
NSW Deputy Premier and Member for Monaro John Barilaro said the event has been secured exclusively for the Snowy Mountains by the NSW Government.
“L’Étape Australia is our own slice of the greatest event in international cycling, the Tour de France, and competitors travel from around Australia and the world to take part,” Mr Barilaro said. “With some of the most stunning mountain terrain in the country, the Snowy Mountains offers the perfect location to host this event and I look forward to welcoming competitors back in December,” he said.
The new fast, simple and user-friendly registration system will open at 12 noon on Thursday 3 May via www.letapeaustralia.com.
For full information on L’Étape Australia, please visit www.letapeaustralia.com
Registration pack collection will be from 10am to 8pm on Friday 30 November at the L'Étape Australia Village, located at Banjo Patterson Park in Jindabyne, on the banks of Lake Jindabyne.
The Race will begin at 06:30am on Saturday 1 December.
Riders on both the Race and the Ride will start and finish in Jindabyne. The entire route will be on fully closed roads, run under full Tour de France race conditions.
The Race will take riders to Rocky Plains, Berridale, the King of the Mountain sections at Col de Beloka and Col de Kosciuszko, descending back to Jindabyne. The Race route is longer this year at 170 km with a 3,000 m height gain, with the new, long decent.
The Ride will follow the same route as the Race but will return to Jindabyne after Col de Beloka to finish at the L'Étape Australia Village, which this year returns to the banks of Lake Jindabyne. The Ride is 108 km with a 1,600 m height gain.
The Finish for both the Race and the Ride in Jindabyne will bring the riders, supporters and the local community together in a festive atmosphere with Matt Keenan calling in the riders as they cross the line.
Registration and Prices
A new fast, simple and user-friendly registration system has been developed which will open at 12 noon on Thursday 3 May via www.letapeaustralia.com.
The first 2,000 registrations for the Race or the Ride will receive the lowest registration price at $295 for the Race and $275 for the Ride. For 2,001 to 3,500 the Race Registration will be $325 and the Ride Registration will be $305. From 3,501 and above, the full registration price will apply, $360 for the Race and $340 for the Ride.
Registering early is of immense help to the organisers in preparing the event in the most efficient way possible.
Riders can stay in accommodation in Thredbo, Crackenback or Perisher and drive to the dedicated parking in Jindabyne, or just ride from their Jindabyne accommodation to the Start. Links to accommodation in the region can be found at https://letapeaustralia.com/accommodation
L’Étape Australia Village
All the social, logistical and administrative activities will be concentrated in the L’Étape Australia Village at Banjo Patterson Park in Jindabyne, including overnight secure bike parking.