L'Etape du Tour - Act 1



Back to work!

Edito You have, without a doubt, been dreaming about it! The official arrival of spring is a great reward for cycling lovers. With the return of good weather, getting back to training is no longer an option. Offer yourself a personalized training plan with 2peak, and get back in shape quickly.

Above and beyond following important recommendations, like adding weekly miles progressively, we invite you to place your 2014 season on an ambitious foundation from the get go. The classics in the Ardennes region are a wonderful invitation to discover two of the most legendary challenges on the calendar. Registration is still open for the Paris-Roubaix Challenge and the Liège-Bastogne-Liège Challenge at A.S.O. Challenges. Are you feeling audacious?


Last numbers for Pau-Hautacam

Edito It's a real success story! There are already 12,000 of you who have validated their registration to the 2014 Etape du Tour 2014, and there are just a few hundred numbers still remaining. Don't wait any longer if you would like to be at the start of the biggest cycling event of the year! It's urgent to take action now by connecting to A.S.O. Challenges. Pau-Hautacam and its legendary Tourmalet pass are on the program. On July 20, the Pyrenees will set the scenery for the most majestic epic of your cycling life. With its 148km on roads closed to traffic, only the Etape du Tour offers course conditions identical to those of the Tour de France. Pau-Hautacam, with or without you?

An epic version of the Pyrenees!

Edito The meeting to be made with the part of you seeking dreams and adventures will be at Pau-Hautacam on July 20! Registration to the 2014 Etape du Tour will open on November 12 from 11am at A.S.O. Challenges.

If you haven't done so already, we suggest quickly creating your profile at A.S.O. Challenges, the registration platform for all our challenges open to the general public. We also recommend contacting specialized Tour Operators for competitors living outside of France to help guarantee obtaining a number.

The 22nd Etape du Tour, traced on the 18th step of the Tour de France, will measure 148km and have two enormous difficulties on the program. An epic version of the Pyrenees! A huge gift for yourself! Are your legs itching to go?

The most beautiful of all!

Edito It was a typical summer day, well not exactly typical! July 7, 2013 will remain etched in your memories, because of the Haute-Savoie region, its hospitality, and the incredible richness of its territory, or because of the magic of the “Grande Boucle” and your desire to do your very best?

The 21st edition of the Etape du Tour set a number of records. There were 11,475 participants and 10,624 finishers. You have never been so many to participate, never shown so much self-sacrifice. Neither the heat nor the Semnoz climbs (much more difficult than most imagined) were able to weaken your courage. Your faces at the pasta party were proof of the sweet music of effort and the contagious need to have a good time in Annecy, on the banks of one of the most beautiful lakes in Europe!

Now we are heading towards 2014! What will the next Etape du Tour be like? Will it take place in the Alps or the Pyrenees, in France or (why not?) in England? The adventure continues… Congratulations to all who helped make Annecy/Annecy-Semnoz such a brilliant success! See you soon on the roads of the Tour.

Relive the Etape du Tour 2013 in video

The moment of truth!

Edito Courage is for now!

These are the last few days of preparation before heading to Annecy! Thousands of you have been waiting for this important moment in your lives as cyclists. The Etape du Tour is really two meetings in one, a meeting with oneself, and a meeting with the legend of the "Grande Boucle"…

There are a number of novelties for this 2013 edition:

* The Village, situated on the banks of Lake Annecy, will be open for three days, from Friday to Sunday, with around 40 exhibitors. A number of activities will be offered to competitors, friends, and family members.

Village opening hours:

  • - Friday, July 5: 2pm - 8pm
  • - Saturday, July 6: 9am - 8pm (end of picking up numbers at 9pm)
  • - Sunday, July 7: 9am - 7pm
* This year, starting times will be spread out from 7am to 8:30am, which will help increase pack fluidity. Your convocation time, established in function of your number and your level, can be consulted on the Etape du Tour website .

* At the end of the Etape du Tour, a giant lottery and a pasta party will take place on Sunday at the Village, after the race. We invite you to participate in these two events which will help make this 21st edition a moment for sports and conviviality.

You may feel a certain amount of pressure at the approach of the big day. Don't panic, you have already done the hardest part! Now, it's time to have a good time, in the heart of the upcoming effort. The Tour de France is yours, for one day. Happy Etape to all! You deserve it!

The moment of truth!

Edito The big day is almost here! Just a few more weeks, with a few long training sessions lasting more than four hours, before meeting up in Annecy for the 21st edition of the Etape du Tour, to live one of the greatest moments of your life as a cyclist.

You have, without a doubt, already studied the course's profile of 128km and 3,600m of positive slope, its particularities are numerous. One, to keep in mind, is an unending number of hill sequences, a succession of climbs and mountain passes leading up to a particularly difficult last climb towards Semnoz. The commentators will certainly deem it a "course for the tough" when the professionals take it as their next to last step of the 100th edition of the Tour de France.

On the menu for the Etape du Tour 2013:
. Côte de La Chapelle-Saint-Maurice is in reality the addition of two difficulties (Côte de Puget and Col de Leschaux) for a total of 9km. The first slopes begin only a few kilometers after the start.
. Côte d'Aillons-le-Vieux is a relatively curvy 6km climb with an average gradient of 4%. Be careful though! Certain sections of it are pretty steep.
. Col des Près calls for a relatively brief amount of effort over 3.5km, but it's, without a doubt, harder than what came before. In effect, the average slope gradient is pretty important (6.5%).
. The Mont-Revard climb is the first big difficulty of the day, lasting 16km, with an average gradient of 5.4%. It should be noted that full refreshments (one of the three along the course) will be offered half-way through the climb at La Féclaz resort area.
. The final Semnoz climb lasts 11km at 8.5%. It is, by far, the hardest climb of this 2013 edition (read box). Be careful, the road begins ascension from the town of Viuz-la-Chiésaz.

Le Challenge Grimpeur, inaugurated in 2012, will allow competitors to check their times of each climb and to calculate real time of ascension. Timing rugs will be positioned at the beginning of each climb, as well as at the summit. This way, you will be able to compare your performance with the best of the pack and with your friends.

Horizon Annecy!

Edito This year, March hasn't treated all cyclists equally. While the lucky ones have been able to start training again under good weather conditions, others have had the choice between the home trainer and forced rest…

For all though, with the arrival of spring, it is recommended to be prudent and patient. It takes a little bit of time to get back the right sensations on a bicycle after time off. Take the time to turn your legs tranquilly before getting back to specific quality work. Rediscover the pleasure of biking before affronting long and difficult training sessions.

The 2013 Etape du Tour, as you probably already know, is based on the next to last step of the 100th edition of "la Grande Boucle". From Annecy to Annecy-Semnoz, the nervous 130km course has a number of difficulties, like the final climb to the resort Semnoz, which is often compared to that of Mont Ventoux.

On July 7, you will evolve in the heart of the Bauges Nature Park. Situated in two different Savoie departments, this park is one of the most preserved Alps territories.

The Etape du Tour will honor regional artists, farmers, and locals, who are so proud of Savoie. Tastings of regional products will be offered in the village and also at the refreshment stands. Five of them, reblochon, chevrotin, abondance tome, and Bauges tome cheeses, as well as the Savoie wines, benefit from a controlled name based on their origins. Loyal to its traditions, the Etape du Tour will immerge itself in the heart of a French region for a few days. This year, it will offer the opportunity to spend three days on the banks of the magnificent Annecy Lake. For late-comers, who would like to join the thousands of competitors already registered, we draw your attention to the Alvarum platform, where the last available numbers can be found. Choosing this option implies supporting one of the listed charities.

Spring is finally here. The road leading you up to the big day is long, but the bell signaling the start has officially rung. Happy training to all!

A record level of participation!

Edito Never before, during the 20 previous editions of the Etape du Tour, has the rush for registration been so huge and enthusiastic. It’s without a doubt because the perspective of riding the same roads as the historical “Grande Boucle” is so enticing for thousands of cyclists. The course for this step, a nervous 130 kilometers with a series of continual difficulties, has convinced many, as much as the same site for both the start and the finish, which considerably simplifies logistics.

Registration for the 2013 Etape du Tour is now closed. More than 10,000 numbers were distributed. For those who have not registered, you can also contact the Travel agencies listed on the race’s website.

And it’s still possible to get a ticket with the charity program. This program aims to help charities to finance their projects, and encourages fundraising on Etape du Tour. Click here to learn more.

The meeting will take place on July 7 for a formidable epic in the heart of the Bauges mountain range, in conditions that are close to those of the professionals; roads closed to traffic, technical assistance, first aid stations, and a wonderful festive ambiance that can only be found in France in July. You have less than six months to prepare the major meeting of 2013. Happy training to all! This Tour should be earned!


As close to the legend as possible

Edito The 2013 Etape du Tour is an exceptional prestigious event! Its course will be traced on the next to last step offered to the pros during the historical 100th “Grande Boucle.” we invite you to live a legendary day on these roads leading from Annecy to Annecy-Semnoz. As usual, the course conditions will be unique with roads closed to traffic, optimal course security, exceptional medical presence, and complete refreshment offered at different points along the race.

Registration opens on November 28. As in the past, for competitors living outside France, we recommend contacting specialized agencies to guarantee obtaining your number.

The 2013 Etape du Tour, taking place on July 7, offers a difficult 130 km course. There won’t be legendary mountain passes, but instead a succession of difficulties that will be hard on the legs and will please cyclists who enjoy sustained effort (consult the course by clicking here). The final climb (which is often compared to the legendary Ventoux) is particularly trying and has gradients ranging from 8%-10%. One must be sharp to reach the finish in good conditions respecting the delays!

There will be around 3,600 meters of vertical gain. The 2013 Etape du Tour is not just a simple promenade at the heart of the mountains and villages of the Haute-Savoie region!

Throughout the course which will be traced in the Bauges range, you will be able to admire one of the most spectacular Alps settings. The course has its finish in front of the European rooftop, the Mont Blanc, with an impregnable view of the Annecy and Bourget Lakes. This 21st edition of the biggest cycling race in France will allow those who adore open spaces to be amazed and to join their passion for cycling with the discovery of magnificent sites.

The big novelty for 2013 is to propose a unique site for the start and the finish. In consequence, there will be no concerns for transportation (cars or shuttles) or double lodging! Just after the finish in Semnoz, where access for those not competing is strongly advised against, the competitors will descend to the village by a liaison itinerary to a second finish arch. This is where the finishers will receive their medal, find their friends and family, and have a hot meal.

On July 7, 10,000 cyclists will be at the start of the Etape du Tour. We hope that you will be part of the adventure. With the 100th edition of the “Grande Boucle” roads under your wheels, you will help contribute to a little bit of French history!

You did it!

Edito It was a huge mountain, like Mount Everest! You have reached the challenge with thousands of others. You took the risk of actually attempting this athletic endeavor on one of the most difficult terrains that one can imagine. You pushed back your limits and made it to the end of one of the most passionate interior journeys possible.

We would like to congratulate you all for your courage, your sense of organization, and your management of effort on the slopes of the Alps and the Pyrenees which were particularly surprising. Bravo to those who finished their effort within the required delays.

Whether it was your first or tenth year of participation, the Etape du Tour always reserves some surprises. This year, the sky and weather played a number of tricks. Between Albertville and La Toussuire, the rain that was present at the start quickly gave its place over to a brilliant sun. In consequence, the last climbs were complicated because of the heat. Between Pau and Bagnères-de-Luchon, it was the cold that bothered a number of racers, particularly during the long descents from Soulor and from Tourmalet.

There were many of you that put all your strength into the battle of the Etape du Tour without being able to make it to the finish line. For both Act 1 and Act 2, we recorded a number of withdrawals. A number of participants mentioned that their level of preparation as well as their logistical approach had been insufficient for this Etape du Tour, especially as far as clothing was concerned because of the weather conditions of this 2012 edition.

We encourage you to renew your experience next year, and to give yourself as much of a chance as possible with a regular and ambitious training program. The big biking family never leaves anyone on the side of the road. In 2013, you will make it to the end!

For many, it’s holiday time, or at least time for less pressure in your sports program. Take the time to recuperate. You deserve it! And take the time to relive your Etape du Tour, to better appreciate the immensity of your accomplishment.

Again, Bravo! We will see you again next year for some new adventures on the roads of “la Grande Boucle”…

The hour of truth!

Edito July 2012. For now and the next few days, there are you and the others. You are ready to attack effort with a capital E, and the others are getting ready to slip into the comfort of summer which is well on its way.

The “Grande Boucle” is a legend. In a few days, you will live the legend from the inside. We are offering you some logistical reminders on some of the more important points in this newsletter so that your race will take place in the best conditions possible.

Don’t hesitate to visit our website for more details, and don’t forget that we will be available to answer your questions at the Village when you come to pick up your number.

Albertville and Pau. La Toussuire-Les Sybelles and Bagnères-de-Luchon. The start and finish cities of the Etapes du Tour are ready to welcome you. Weeks of work have taken place prior to your arrival on the slopes of the Madeleine or the Tourmalet, the Glandon or the Peyresourde. Don’t forget that you will be the scouts for the Tour de France. The pros will hit the same slopes as you just a few days later…

Thousands of bikers of all levels visit the Alps and the Pyrenees every year. They often dream of the special ambiance that is so prevalent in the heart of France’s summer.

And here you are! It is now the hour of truth for all at their own level. In the end, everyone has some points in common. See the heights, let go of nothing, and live the vertical adventure to its end. We wish you a beautiful journey and happiness that fulfills your expectations. Have a great time!

The time of your life

Edito The preparation, bringing you up to the big day, has lasted for months. You are now ready to arrive at the base camp. What is waiting for you is huge. However, it’s not Mount Everest!

Your methodical and rigorous training will not melt away in the July heat. It’s unnecessary to panic just because you may spend a few days away from your bike (at least not on it) and that you may offer your body a little bit of needed rest before arriving at the start line.

You will be among almost one thousand athletes at the start line of the 2 steps of the Madone Challenge. 350km on some of the most legendary and demanding roads of the “Grande Boucle” that will test you over six days. To encourage you and congratulate you for your daring, Trek (partner to the Etapes du Tour) is offering a 30€ coupon that you may pick up at Trek’s stand at the Village before the race.

A reminder for this edition: this year, for the first time, the climbs will be timed. Therefore, the Challenge Grimpeur allows each participant to compare themselves to their friends, the best bikers, and even the pros…

We will remind you in an upcoming newsletter, which you will receive in the next few days, of some logistical points that will allow you to concentrate fully on your effort. One tip beforehand: don’t scatter yourself. Review your road check and necessary logistics to avoid too much stress. Each detail is important: transportation, lodging, picking up your number, outfit, and refreshments to carry.

Don’t neglect anything, not even after the race, a moment of great happiness and total abandon. It’s possible that you might not be completely lucid. Be organized in such a way that you will not need to make complicated decisions in terms of your effort. The big day is almost here. You will soon reach great heights, and the magnificent journey to the best of yourself.

Head to the mountains!

Edito Summer is on its way, and in summer, the roads are climbing. Head towards the height of the mountains, use no motors or outside help, use only the force of your legs. Maximal will-power will be necessary…

The Etapes du Tour 2012 takes place in the mountains. Acte 1 takes place in the Alps between Albertville and La Toussuire. Acte 2 takes place in the Pyrenees between Pau and Bagnères-de-Luchon. Each has 4 climbs. No small asphalted hills here, nothing but serious and intense ascent. Take out your calculators. Madeleine, Glandon, Mollard, and La Toussuire: 70km of at least 6% gradient average in the Alps. Aubisque, Tourmalet, Aspin, and Peyresourde: 57km of at least 7% gradient average in the Pyrenees.

Would you like to find out what you are made of? Here is an opportunity! We have created the Challenge Grimpeur so that you can precisely measure the quality of your efforts. Chronometric rugs will be installed at the bottom and top of each climb, allowing you to compare your real mountain times with those of your friends and the highest level bikers who are participating in the race. A classification will be established to distinguish the best performance climbers.

Another challenge that will be launched during the 2012 Etapes du Tour 2012 is the Madone Challenge), which consists of linking two steps. There are already almost 800 participants with the ambition of climbing 8 of the most legendary mountain passes in the history of the Tour during the same week. .

An exceptional effort calling for preferential treatment! Each Madone Challenge participant will receive a 15 euro coupon from our partner Trek, valid for any purchase of Trek bike pieces, as well as the Bontrager line of accessories and pieces (wheels, tires, shoes, and clothing) at Trek/Bontrager sellers (date of validity until 10/30/2012).

July in France is calling. There are still a few weeks left for studious training before attacking the big adventure of the year. Take advantage of this preparation period to weigh your chances. Summer is almost here, and you are already a hero!

Make it to the top!

Edito A few weeks are left before hitting the roads that will bring you to greater heights! In the heart of the grandiose scenery of the Alps and the Pyrenees, France’s July will be convivial, joyful, and full of the souvenirs that make up the history of its Tour de France.

A few weeks are left before the two 2012 Etapes du Tour. You are, without a doubt, in great shape. Be careful now not to add useless miles to your training. You should focus on quality and recuperation. Be coherent with the mountain course that is waiting for you.

If you have decided to participate in Act 1 between Albertville and La Toussuire, we would like to remind you that the Savoie station offers a “pack cyclo” from 97€ per person. You can choose your lodging for July 7-12 and live the Etape du Tour Cyclo (8 July) and the Etape du Tour de France (July 12) on the inside. For information, contact the La Toussuire Tourist Office.

Six days after the Alps on July 14, Act 2 will take place in the heart of the Pyrenees mountain range from Pau to Bagnères-de-Luchon. The four mountain passes on the program will give you goose-bumps; Aubisque, Tourmalet, Aspin, and Peyresourde! The ambiance will be very festive, without a doubt, because of the national holiday. Soak up these privileged moments of camaraderie, and take in the incredible energy of the riding group, even at the height of your effort.

A few more weeks before thousands of cyclists arrive from America, Asia, and other European countries to the heart of the French mountains. For those who hesitate to sign up, just remember that the magic of the “Tour” is something that should not be refused. Join us for the adventure!

Will you dare the double challenge?

Edito You only have a few months to get ready for the 2012 Etapes du Tour. Spring is the perfect time to take long rides often. It will be worth the trouble. Be enthusiastic and creative in your training. On July 8 and 14, the Alps and the Pyrenees will be yours, and it will then be too late to regret being unprepared!

For those that hesitate to take part in the adventure by registering for one or both sections, we remind you that nothing can replace the emotion felt by living the Tour de France on the inside.

Yes, Act 1 is difficult. Yes, Act 2 is maybe even more difficult, but the Tour is like that. It’s part of the July magic. In 2011, 318 of you triumphed in the Madone Challenge which consists in finishing the 2 acts. This year, we are convinced that there will be more of you. Better prepared and aware of your capabilities, you can achieve two remarkable athletic challenges in less than one week. Are you up to it?

So that you can focus your preparation on the most detailed logistical points, we have recently published precise course maps as well as information on the different refreshment areas. All details are now available on the website:
Act 1

If you haven’t already reserved your lodging, we suggest that you contact the tourist offices of the “start” and “finish” cities. A number of different choices and formulas for accommodation are available.

Less than a hundred days left, it’s time to get serious. Participating in the Etapes du Tour is accepting to make some sacrifices, to put oneself on the line, to escape from routine, and to live the apotheosis of a biker’s life. July 8 and 14, the mountain passes of the Alps and the Pyrenees are yours, just for you. Go for it!

Test yourself on the Climbing Challenge

Edito During July, don’t lounge around by the pool when you can attack some mountain passes on a bike! Not little hills, but real steep mountains with high altitude summit offering mysterious emotion at the heat of effort.

This year for the first time, the “Etapes du Tour” will visit two of France’s mountain chains.
Act 1 takes place on July 8 in the Alps between Albertville and La Toussuire.

The choice of villages and start zones has received particular attention. We have chosen Albertville, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary of the Olympic Games, to launch the race, at the same spot where the Olympic flame lit up the city in 1992. The bikers will ride for three kilometers in the center of Albertville before taking the direction of the Madeleine pass.

Each ascent will be timed allowing participants to appreciate their efforts.

Six days later in Pau, the Village will be installed in the Parc des Expositions, in the heart of this bubbling city. The start for this race in the Pyrenees will be unusual because all of the participants will be reunited at the Place de Verdun, using the 2008 format which created a convivial and relaxed ambiance.

The novelty of the Etapes du Tour 2012 is situated at altitude where a Climbing Challenge will be inaugurated. The four mountain pass climbs from bottom to top will be timed over Act 1 and Act 2, allowing each participant to compare his time with those of the pros, and certainly with those of friends present at the race.

For those who have the ambition to test themselves on the difficulties of the Alps and the Pyrenees, the next few months of training will be for the mountains. It’s the price of the exploit. In July, all French cyclists dream of the Tour. Frankly, would you exchange a place on your bicycle for a nap by the pool?

More information


Will you dare the double challenge?

Edito Mountain passes have memories and can tell epic stories of the heros that have climbed them. The Alps and the Pyrenees: this year the two Tour de France trials that we offer cyclists visit these two large French mountain ranges, two occasions to live the myth of the Tour from the inside and to test one's capacity to achieve these important endeavors during the same week.

Act 1 (July 8) will take place in its entirety on Savoie roads with a start in Albertville, 20 years after the olympic games. This alps trial promises to be very difficult (there are no real flat portions) with long stretches of ascent (26km for the Madeleine pass) and a finish by the selective climb to La Toussuire.

Act 2 (July 14) will be an equally magnificent challenge with 5 climbing passes between Pau and Bagnères-de-Luchon. Aubisque, Soulor, Tourmalet, Aspin, and Peyresourde: a real voyage in the heart of the most legendary difficulties of the Pyrenees which will welcome cyclists on Bastille Day.

For the competitors who participate in our three 2012 events (the two Etapes du Tour as well as the Paris-Roubaix Challenge) we will offer a waterproof jacket to salute their courage and encourage their desire to push themselves as far as possible on some of the most difficult French roads.

Thousands are already registered for the Etapes du Tour 2012. Those who attempt this double challenge will climb many of the of the most prestigious mountain passes of the Tour over a six day period. The gage is immense. To reach it, one must work hard training throughout the whole first semester, the price to pay to reach so closely the legend of the Tour de France.

More information on Act 1 : Albertville > La Toussuire

  • Trek
  • Alltricks
  • BUFF Sports
  • Isostar
  • lcl
  • Le coq sportif
  • mavic
  • Northwave
  • Oakley
  • Sherpa
  • skoda
  • Strava
  • La Toussuire
  • St Jean de Maurienne
  • France Bleu Pays de Savoie
  • Le Dauphiné Libéré
  • Velo magazine