Three days of high-powered pro-am racing in the French Alps came to a close this week having raised more than £1.5 million for charity.
The Trois Etapes Cycling Pro-Am was won by dZi US, winning an additional £13,000 for their charity from the prize fund.
The event included a 5km Prologue and two timed high mountain stages, including Col de l’Iseran, the highest mountain pass in the Alps. Due to extreme weather conditions, the final stage, which was due to tackle the Col du Chaussy and Col de la Madeleine, was cancelled.
The event is designed to teach tactical team riding. Each team of 8 riders (7 amateurs and 1 pro) has its own team car and Directeur Sportif. Every rider has a radio link with their team car and the Race Director.
As well as using the event as a fundraising platform, charities have the opportunity to win money for their charity through the event’s prize fund, which is provided by Goldman Sachs Gives.
Peter Oppenheimer, a Goldman Sachs partner riding for the Anne Frank Trust, said “It was an amazing experience to ride together with professionals and so many other dedicated people under incredible conditions and in breath taking scenery, but most importantly to help raise awareness and critical funds for some wonderful and important causes.”
dZi Europe finished in 2nd and received nearly £13,000. Right To Play Red finished in 3rd and received £12,500. All 15 teams receive a cash prize for their charity; The Anne Frank Trust, who finished 15th received more than £9,000.
“It’s pretty cool to see the motivation that riders have. I am treating it like any other race because I know there’s a lot on the line, and a lot for our charity on the line,” said Craig Lewis, pro rider for winners dZi US. “The Trois Etapes does the same courses we do in the pro races; maybe not as many climbs but there really is no easy way to get over these things.”
“It’s a fantastic event. It’s basically as close to pro racing as you’ll get as an amateur, and that’s why it’s a pro-am event,” said Daniel Lloyd, pro for Shooting Star CHASE. “All of the guys here are really impressed with the organization; it’s just nice to have all that back up where you don’t have to think – which is exactly what a pro gets, you don’t have to do anything to your bike, think about the travel arrangements and everything like that. I know that’s what the riders are getting out of it and they’ve had great fun.”
Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre was one of the pros taking part. He was joined by 14 other team leaders, including former Garmin-Sharp riders Andreas Klier and Daniel Lloyd, Champion Systems rider Craig Lewis, World Champion Evelyn Stevens, Team MTN Qhubeka’s Songezo Jim, Gent–Wevelgem winner Lars Michaelsen, Round The World cyclist Mark Beaumont, Paracycling World Champion Colin Lynch and Madison-Gensis riders Joan Horrach and Liam Holohan. The event’s back up and support crew included Bobby Julich, who worked as one of the 15 Directeur Sportifs in radio contact with the riders.
After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.