Tour de France organisers ASO have thrown their weight behind one of the UK’s biggest sportives, the Dragon Ride, which will now be rebranded as the Dragon Ride L’Etape Wales by le Tour de France. Meanwhile, the Marmotte – arguably the doyenne of sportives – has launched events in the Pyrenees and the Italian Alps.
Taking place on Sunday 5 June, the Dragon Ride L’Etape Wales by le Tour de France becomes the third mass participation event in the UK in which ASO is involved, following the Maserati Tour de Yorkshire Ride, and the L'Etape London by le Tour de France, both launched last year.
The local partner for all three events is Human Race, whose CEO, Nick Rusling, said: “After the success of teaming up with ASO on L’Etape London by le Tour de France we are delighted to be working together again on this very special event.
“We pride ourselves on delivering the very best experiences, and we have some exciting ideas about how we can build on the excellent reputation of the Dragon Ride.”
Tour de France race director Christian Prudhomme commented: "Following the extraordinary reception Le Tour de France riders enjoyed in the United Kingdom over the last few years, it is a true honour to bring Le Tour de France’s spirit to Wales.
“This spirit of course remains in the passion for cycling and Le Tour de France itself but it is also linked to an ideal sportive course and Wales’ incredible nature and landscapes. The Dragon Ride L’Etape Wales by Le Tour de France has a route reminiscent of one of Le Tour de France’s most magnificent stages.”
So far, more than 4,000 people have registered for the 2016 Dragon Ride L’Etape Wales by le Tour de France, which includes the three-day Dragon Tour, and more places have been released, with further details available here.
Meanwhile, the Marmotte, which describes itself as “the mother of all cyclosportives” is expanding with the launch of three events that will fall under the umbrella of the Marmotte Granfondo Series.
One of those is the brand new Marmotte Granfondo Pyrénées, covering has 163 kilometres over five big climbs made famous by the Tour de France.
The first is the Col du Tourmalet – a nice, easy, warm-up, then – followed by the Hourquette d'Ancizan, the Col d'Aspin, the Tourmalet again from the other side, and finally the climb up to the finish at Luz Ardiden.
The event takes place on 28 August, and follows the existing Marmotte – now rebranded Marmotte Alpes, which is on 2 July – and another new event, the Marmotte Sestriere, on 24 July, which is played out on the Italian side of the Alps and takes in one of the Giro d’Italia’s most feared climbs, the mighty Colle delle Finestre.
Full details on all three events, including how to enter, can be found here.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.