If you want to test yourself on a professionally designed route over some of the best roads in Britain this summer, then you'll really struggle to do better than L'Etape UK. Back for its second year at Penn House in the Chiltern Hills, the event will be bigger and better than ever with three epic routes to choose from, a huge fan park for you to soak up the atmosphere and loads more going on, bringing a taste of the Tour de France to the Chilterns with a British twist!
L'Etape UK is part of the world famous L'Etape series, which culminates in the L’Etape du Tour in France which sees 16,000 cyclists take on a tour route each year before the pros roll through.
With three distances to choose from to cater for all abilities, L'Etape UK affords you the opportunity to get a flavour of the French L'Etape here in Blighty without having to travel too far. The medium and long routes also features the fearsome climb up Whiteleaf Hill, which gives you the chance to qualify for the L’Etape du Tour Championship in 2021... who said sportives weren't competitive!
Of course if you're just in it for a pootle and a lovely day out then that's all catered for too, with the offical Tour de France Fan Park at Penn House welcoming you before and after the ride with a collection of French food stalls, a beer tent and cycling based activities to ensure there's something to do for all whole family. The 5th July also happens to be on the same day as Stage 9 of the Tour de France, which will be shown live throughout the day on the big screen!
Other things to look out for as well as the great riding will be the Vintage Bike show and Ride, which will bring the history of the Tour to life with plenty of relics from the past on show. British Bike Hire will be looking after all your mechanical needs both on the road and in the fan park, and Erdinger are giving out tasty pints of their Alkoholfrei beer to every finisher. Official apparel sponsor Rapha will also be on hand with their famous mobile clubhouse and shop.
There are three race distances to choose from, so even if you're new to cycling and aren't quite ready to take on your first century, there's something for everyone. The 'long' ride is a shade under 100 imperial miles at 151.3km with a whopping 1,890m of elevation! It's priced at £49.50 for the standard entry, or £75 for the premium entry including event photographs and personalised iTab with your name and time. The medium route (£47 standard entry) is just over that metric tonne at 101.6km with 1,129m of elevation and the short route (£44.50) is 51.8km with 393m of elevation.
The routes have also been tweaked for 2020 to improve the experience, with The Crong taken out of the medium and long routes to take the riders onto better and safer roads through The Chilterns; there have also been other small adjustments to the route to improve the ride for everyone.
If you missed that link to enter at the top of the page here it is again, and you can also find the main section of the L'Etape UK website here with everything you need to know before the big day. Make sure you book your place before it sells out, and we'll see you in the Chilterns on Sunday 5th July!
Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.