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Thread: L'Etape du Tour

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Greenville, SC
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    132

    L'Etape du Tour

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    L'Etape du Tour is a race/ride that follows the route of one stage of the real Tour. This year the route was Stage 16, Mourenx-Pau, in the Pyrénées. I would say I rode it with my husband, but we were never actually together. There were, however, over 7,000 other people riding with us! You would think that things would be a bit squirrely in a big group like that, but everyone behaved rather well. Except for the constant peeing along the side of the road...any- and everywhere, even in towns. I met another American woman--I saw more anglophone women than French women--who told me that there were a whopping 227 women in the ride. The guy who won [people who win this often go on to ride in the real thing eventually] finished in about 5h22m; the pros, who rode the same route a week later, did it in under 5 (4 and a half?). Et moi? almost 10 hours! But I finished, so that was the important thing. I'm slow, but I don't quit.

    Here's the site for the ride: http://www.letapedutour.com/
    And here's a slide show of the ride and route--click on 'L'Etape du Tour 2005' (you need Windows Media Player 10 to view and listen): http://millie.furman.edu/strickland/photogallery.htm

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Folsom CA
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    5,672
    Oh that is so cool ! That must have been an amazing experience.

    Did you have to take part in some sort of lottery to be able to participate ?

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
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    3,099
    yipppee yahoo pro!! how much fun was that?? I can't even imagine riding with 7000 ppl, let alone while climbing one of the Pyrenees!

    I'm seeing you on a podium right now wearing a She-Ra Princess of Power Tiara!
    Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, champagne in one hand, strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming: "Yeah Baby! What a Ride!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    160
    I want to do the L'etape soooo bad!!! How long did you spend in France? Any good Mt. training tips? How fast was the fastest woman? I'll look at the slideshow at work tomorrow! (Mac at home).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Greenville, SC
    Posts
    132
    If you live outside of France, you have two ways to register for the ride. One is to go over with a company--I don't have any names, you can find them on the Etape site. Certain tour companies apparently get a certain number of slots. (I think Velo Echappe does this.)

    My husband found a super-nice French guy on another forum two years ago who offered to sign up Americans. You must be in France to register (with the above exception) because it fills up really fast. You have to mail in your form and money the day that the registration form comes out in Velo Magazine, which happens in January. This year they received over 12,000 requests, and gave out 8500 numbers. All you need, other than Euros, is a doctor's statement saying that you are fit to ride. Plus a friend in France who will forge your signature (did I say that?).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Greenville, SC
    Posts
    132
    Quote Originally Posted by runnergirl
    I want to do the L'etape soooo bad!!! How long did you spend in France? Any good Mt. training tips? How fast was the fastest woman? I'll look at the slideshow at work tomorrow! (Mac at home).
    We were there for just over two weeks. We decided to go because we lived in Pau for a year about 5 years ago, and we are familiar with the area. (the stage ended in Pau) They haven't yet posted all the category winners, but I expect they will, since that info is available for all the previous years. Jeanne Longo, famous fast French female, has won it in the past. As for training--go ride mountains a lot! I did two hilly centuries in the spring, one of which was the Assault on Mt. Mitchell, which was comparable in difficulty. Plus I just rode a lot, tried to get in a lot of climbing. My husband is a pretty good coach, and I had an excellent training partner (thanks Jen!).

 

 

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