In its debut edition last summer, the Trois Etapes raised $1.7 million for its charity partners, boosted by highlights coverage screen on British Eurosport. This summer’s event in the Alps will reach an even wider audience with the news that Channel 4 will be joining the satellite broadcaster, enabling the 30-minute highlights package to be watched by terrestrial viewers too, although we're guessing it won't be going out during prime time.
The event isn’t a sportive – instead, it pits 14 teams of amateurs led by pros, including 2008 Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre, against each other on some of the toughest climbs the Alps has to offer over four days, and all in aid of charity.
Taking place from Friday 26 to Monday 29 July – the weekend after the Tour de France finishes – the fully supported race, including team cars and radios, features team time trials on each day, with teams comprising seven amateurs and one pro vying to win funds to be donated to their chosen charity.
This year sees five new teams enter – EMpower has two, one from Europe and one from the US, and is joined by fellow debutants The Anne Frank Trust, 1001 Fontaines and Shooting Star CHASE.
Returning teams are Prostate Cancer UK and Walking with the Wounded, plus three charities that will be represented by multiple teams – Right to Play, World Bicycle Relief and the dZi Foundation.
Full details of the Trois Etapes can be found on the event website.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.