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I, along with some friends, am eager to participate in the 2011 Etape but I not sure how viable this ambition is. I'm not talking ability to finish (I can worry about that if I get the chance to go), more getting a place and organising travel and accommodation logistics.

Does anyone have any tips/recommendations/warnings about tour companies and their associated prices - I've had a search online and while I can find lots of details regarding the packages that were available this year, they no longer have the associated prices listed.

Any information would be most welcome.

Thanks

Adam

24 comments

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Old Cranky [257 posts] 6 years ago
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Depending upon whether you are prepared to arrange all of your own logistics - travel, hotel, getting back to the start, etc, then I'd buy an entry only. I think Sporting Tours and others sell these for about £100 but they are taken up shortly after the entry opens in October.

I'd bet that the 2011 Etape will be an Alpe d'Huez finish.

Start training and dieting now!

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adscrim [141 posts] 6 years ago
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You calling me fat!  3

I contacted sporting tours and there most basic package was £300 this year and included your accommodation and tranfers. Flights and entry were extra. Obviously this may change for next year depending on circumstances, but it doesn't seem too bad. I think I'll do a little more research and see if I can find out about tranfer options for the entry only cyclist. We were planning on all travelers taking part and I assume there must be companies that provide a transfer service to the start either prior to the event or afterwards.

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

Adam

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Jon Burrage [998 posts] 6 years ago
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I too am looking to do this and was wondering about entry and transfer back to the start options. I will likely drive down myself as I have heard horror stories about etape'ers getting out to toulouse or pau by air and their bikes never making it. At least if I drive the bike will be in the car with me.
Alpe d'huez finish sounds superb.

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Blackhound [447 posts] 6 years ago
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Talking to a chap yesterday who did it this year believes that The Galibier will be on the route next year. The course won't finish there but I guess Alpe d'Huez or Briancon are likely stage finishes.

Had a quick look last year and cheapest I saw was £600 for hotel and accommodation for about 3/4 nights.

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jezzer [67 posts] 6 years ago
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Hi Adam - I did the etape this year with 2 other friends for the first time and will try and sum up as briefly as possible my experiences. First thing I should mention is that it was the toughest thing I've done. Second thing is that I've got my name down for next year! Was the most amazing riding I've experienced.

In all it was pretty easy to get sorted, took a bit of effort but no real problems.

First up entry - have a word with Ron over at http://www.etape.org.uk - we got our entries this way, cost was IIRC £180 each

Once that was sorted next was accomodation - used internet to find Chambres de Hotes /B&B's near Pau - a lot was booked up but found a fantastic place about 15k out of Pau that was pretty much perfect. Tourist info and offices were helpful. 

Like John above I had reservations about flying so made the decision to drive down with bikes and kit - my mates flew down a couple of days before the event with just luggage. My wife and I decided to make a bit of a holiday out of it as well so took a few days driving down stopping off along the way. 

This also solved the problem about finshing and getting back - the wife drove over to meet us at then end and drove us back that evening. 

In all I suspect that I probably spent the same amount of money as companies like SportsTours etc are asking but had a bit more flexibility and was more of a holiday rather than entirely focused on the Etape.

If that's not enough info or you've got any specific q's let me know, would be happy to help

Finally Dave_Atkinson here advised me to pack plenty of gears (cheers Dave) although I could have done with packing a couple more

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ianswindon [3 posts] 6 years ago
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I took part in the 2006 etape,gap to alp d'huez. Had limited funds. Me and a friend went,only me competing,drove from swindon to dover,left car at docks,ferry to calais,picked up hire car othersidw(citroen c4,room for 2 bikes and luggage),drove to gap to pre-booked accomodation. I rode the event,mate drove to bourg to pre=booked accomodation and waited for me at alp d'huez!! Was a fantastic experience. Training started roundabout this time by taking part in audaxes etc getting plenty of winter miles in and getting used to being on a bike for 7/8 hours. Recommend doing the grand fondo in wales beforehand. I got entry through riding for the charity 'get kids going' would recommend it. Good luck and may see you out there next year as i plan to do it again!!

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rikperry5311 [1 post] 6 years ago
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How about the Marmote instead ? Start finish and the same point makes logistic easy and its way cheaper that the Etape ( 40 euros i think ) Just as well organised and maybe better for a first Euro trip ?

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SPAM Naval [139 posts] 6 years ago
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Having lived in Paris when I did the 2009 Etape - i think i paid €60 for entry - its hard to justify the cost of trying to organise it from the UK. Although I really want to do it again next year!
also thinking that La Marmotte might be a good alternative

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GGB_Andrew [6 posts] 6 years ago
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Marmotte over Etape for me (cheaper, easier to organise and always painful!)...although if Etape does go over Galibier and the Alpe it could be a good "warm up" for the Marmotte!

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dave atkinson [6258 posts] 6 years ago
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rumours of two etapes this year, with a kind of qualifying event and then the big mountain stage.

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GGB_Andrew [6 posts] 6 years ago
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Really...that sounds intriguing (and inconvenient unless a qualifying event is held in the UK)?

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dave atkinson [6258 posts] 6 years ago
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don't know for sure, but i was talking to someone at the show who gets to know where the etapes go before most, and his understanding was that there'd be a free-for-all etape in the massif central maybe, and then a you-need-to-qualify event that's likely to include the Galibier.

qualification is an entirely grey area, really, since nothing's been announced. certainly we'd expect that if you've finished the etape in previous years within a certain time then you'd be a shoe-in, and there was talk that you can qualify by doing the first one which might be earlier in the year, and then do the 'real' etape.

but qualifying from the UK? don't know. if they're going to go down the qualification route then the organisers would be well advised to enter into some kind of agreement with some of the big rides in the UK (the dragon, fred whitton and dartmoor classic spring immediately to mind) and set some kind of qualifying time.

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vinercycle [1 post] 6 years ago
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Hi there, my boyfriend is keen to do the Etape again after completing it in 2009 (with an organised tour). This time he is hoping to get entry only as I will be travelling with him (not competing). Can you remember where you got your entry from in 2009? it seems to be very cheap which is great.
Thanks

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GGB_Andrew [6 posts] 6 years ago
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Assuming you don't have a house in France and want to try your luck in the ballot your best bet is to contact Ron at Etape.org.

I did the Etape a few years ago and he provided me with an entry only (more expensive, of course, than applying through the French lottery).

URL is http://www.etape.org.uk/

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ozroberts [1 post] 6 years ago
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Well, I suspect we'll all find out tomorrow!

------------------
Stuff I like:

Cycling coaching and Lab testing
2011 Etape du Tour Training Plans

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CycleGranCanaria [1 post] 6 years ago
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Hi there I have just posted this because the 2 routes for Etape 2011 were released this morning. Perhaps it can help.

Newsflash: The 2 routes for the Etape du Tour are as follow:
Route 1 Modane Alpe Duez Etape de Tour July 11th
Route 2 Issoire Saint Flour Etape de Tour July 17th

Cycle Gran Canaria with Sports Tours International have for your preparation, an Etape de Tour Training Camp for each date, covering nutrition & energy drink mix advice, bike preparation, clothing,feedzone advice, culminating after a week of training in a replica ride of the route.

An Etape de Tour entry is guaranteed with each camp. Dates TBC are in the middle weeks of January & Febuary 2011 on Gran Canaria.

Contact me at www.cyclegrancanaria.com / raymond [at] cyclegrancanaria.com or sportstoursinternational.

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tdftips [6 posts] 6 years ago
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Hi Andrew
Check out tourdefrancetips.com, letapedutourguide.com and letape2011.com.

I've done it a few times.

You can find training plans and recovery guides on letapedutourguide.com and tourdefrancetips.com

Tim

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tdftips [6 posts] 6 years ago
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Andrew
for planning and logistics, check out cyclinginfranceguide.com, it covers Etape logistics.
But the tourdefrancetips.com website and their Tackling L'Etape guide covers logistics *extensively*.

Feel free to email me to ask more questions.

Tim

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SPAM Naval [139 posts] 6 years ago
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on line subscriptions now open on offical website for Acte I and II
http://www.letapedutour.com/EDT1/2011/ETDT/presentation/us/inscriptions.htm

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etapechamp [5 posts] 6 years ago
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hi if you need some help with this feel free to email me, i,ve been twice before, and now doing a 5 day tour package or see web link below.

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Gregoire500 [104 posts] 6 years ago
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Anyone else planning on doing this?

I've got entry for the Alpe d'Huez and found cheap lodgings near the finish-just need to figure out how to get to the start with bike and gear... sleep in the car the night before? Plenty of time to figure it out. Can't wait though!

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lippy [3 posts] 6 years ago
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I've signed up for the Issoire - Saint Flour route, will be my first Etape. I've put together a google map of the route here if anyone is interested:

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps/ms?doflg=ptk&ie=UTF8&t=h&msa=0&msid=117591...

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woolleypicks [2 posts] 5 years ago
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Hi,
As a first time entry to the etape 2011 and without my mates getting in I am asking my self the same questions, how will I get there and where to stay. I have thought about withdrawing my entry only to see that no refaunds are allowed. I would be interested to hear how your plans are going and if you have people to travel with, as i need to sort this out and do not want to face the full travel costs alone. Steve

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gbzpto [101 posts] 5 years ago
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we have spaces left for a long weekend with entries for Alpe d'Huez etape. We live in Bourg d'Oisans and will be staying in a hotel about 30km from start. We transport you to the start and all your luggage back to Bourg d'Oisans. Entries included as well. Full itinary and cost here.

http://www.tourdoisans.com/letapedutour.asp