Thousands take part in official London Tour de France sportive
Three thousand riders took to the roads of London and Essex at TP ICAP L’Etape London by Le Tour de France on Sunday 24th September, joined by Tour de France winner Andy Schleck. As well as fantastic riding, cyclists enjoyed a number of Tour de France experiences, including the famous red Skodas and an Arc de Triomphe podium finish
With distances of 49 miles, 92 miles and 117 miles available, as well as the women-only Cycletta wave, there was plenty of opportunity for riders of all abilities to get involved. The course followed many of the same roads as Stage Three of the 2014 Tour de France, with the start and finish taking place at the iconic Lee Valley VeloPark.
Andy Schleck helped start off the waves of cyclists, and joined riders on the route, to motivate them with stories from his days in the peloton. Andy also worked on a feed station to help fuel riders with SiS energy gels, and popular alternative feed station food including focaccia and rosemary potatoes.
New for 2017, the TP ICAP L’Etape London course featured three timed closed-road sprint sections, allowing cyclists to emulate the professionals. With green jerseys up for grabs for the winners, it was Darren Knight who took the Sprint Challenge men’s title, with Anneleen Bosma fastest out of the women. In the young rider classification, Huw Newton-Hill claimed the white jersey for the men, and Emily Wiltshire for the ladies, while in the Short distance Alison Trautsmansdorff had the fastest final Sprint km of the women and Kipp Elkington from the men.
All participants ended their ride with a sprint finish at the Lee Valley VeloPark with Andy Schleck going head-to-head with cyclists as they surged for the finish line.
It was then time for riders to recover with a post-event Erdinger Alkoholfrei, toast their cycling successes at the cheese and wine after-party with Cono Sur, and snap a podium selfie with Andy Schleck. As well as being an unforgettable experience for those taking part, the ride also raised thousands of pounds for official charity Access Sport, which gives children access to a wide range of inclusive sporting opportunities.
Nick Rusling, CEO at Human Race, said; “TP ICAP L’Etape London showcases beautiful cycling on the doorstep of London, at a truly iconic venue. We were delighted to welcome so many corporate and club riders, as well as many first-timers. The convenience of the location, and ease of transport links meant that riders could stick around and relax with friends after the event, which created a really sociable atmosphere and a fantastic day out.”
John Phizackerley, Chief Executive at TP ICAP, the headline sponsor of the event, said; “We were really impressed by the quality of the event, and the tremendous experience had by all of our riders. It is such a fun and sociable day out – our employees and clients thoroughly enjoyed themselves.”
Andy Schleck, Tour de France winner and event ambassador, said; “Having spent time at cycling events all over the world, I can confidently say that L’Etape London is up there with the very best sportives. This event allows UK riders to experience the Tour de France legend, in your own iconic capital city. The participant experience is excellent – food is very important on long rides, and I especially enjoyed the feed stations. First class!”
The next event in the L’Etape Series in the UK is Dragon Ride L’Etape Wales on Sunday 10th June 2018. Entries are open now for the sell-out event, which offers the Tour de France experience amidst stunning Welsh scenery. Visit www.letapeuk.co.uk/wales to claim your place.