If you've signed up for next year's Etape du Tour, here's a must-watch video - and even if you haven't got an entry to perhaps the most eagerly awaited sportive of the year, it's well worth a few minutes of your time.
Mavic, who service the event as well as providing neutral service to the Tour de France itself, have teamed up with brand ambassadors Mike Cotty, whose Col Collective videos we feature regularly on road.cc, and ex-pro (and Etape du Tour winner) Nicolas Roux to give you all the information and tips you need as you prepare for it.
With a field of 15,000, the 25th edition of the Etape takes place on Sunday 18 July 2017, and follows the route of Stage 19 of the Tour de France with a first-time summit finish on the Col d'Izoard.
It starts in Briancon, with the 178-kilometre route also taking in the 2,109 metre Col de Vars, crested 49 kilometres from the finish, while the ascent of the Izoard takes riders up to 2,360 metres.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.