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Presentation

BECOME A PART OF THE LEGEND

Live the legend of the Tour de France, riding on the same routes and under the same conditions as the professionals: this is the promise that L’Étape du Tour has kept since 1993.

Every year, we invite you to ride one of the mountain stages of the Tour de France: the same stage towns, the same routes, the same mythical climbs but also, and above all, the same race conditions as on the Tour. As the result of a significant amount of work carried out in partnership with the police, local organisations and local authorities, L’Étape du Tour is the only cyclosportive to offer routes which are entirely closed to traffic.

With 23 editions under its belt and a peleton of 15,000 participants, L’Étape du Tour is now Europe’s benchmark cyclosportive event.

A SPORTING CHALLENGE, A TOURIST ADVENTURE

L’Étape du Tour is, obviously, an immense sporting challenge. But it is also a tourist adventure which will enable you to discover some of the most beautiful parts of France. From Alpine valleys to the Tourmalet, the giant of the Pyrenees, every year the regions which host the event offer breathtaking scenery.

And because the love of cycling knows no borders, and because the Tour itself is a giant, L’Étape du Tour has given rise to several other races around the world, offering you even more stunning landscapes in the same race conditions as the Tour de France. Find out more about them here.

History

  • 23rd edition
  • Location: Alpes
  • Departments crossed: Savoie (73)
  • Km: 142

  • 22nd edition
  • Location: Pyrénées
  • Departments crossed: Pyrénées-Atlantiques (64) ; Hautes-Pyrénées (65)
  • Km : 148

  • 21st edition
  • Location: Alpes
  • Departments crossed: Haute-Savoie (74) ; Savoie (73)
  • Km: 128

  • Difficulty: Parc Naturel des Bauges, le Mont Revard, Le Semnoz
  • Number of riders: 13 800
  • Number of finishers: 10 624
  • Winners:
    • MAN : Nicolas Roux
    • WOMAN : Magdalena de Saint-Jean
  • 20th edition
  • Location: Alpes
  • Departments crossed: Savoie (73)
  • Km: 152

  • Difficulty: Col de la Madeleine, Col de la Croix de Fer, Col du Mollard
  • Number of riders: 9000
  • Number of finishers: 4422
  • Winners:
    • MAN : Robin Cattet
    • WOMAN : Karine Saysset
  • 20th edition
  • Location: Pyrénées
  • Departments crossed: Pyrénées Atlantique (64), Hautes-Pyrénées (65), Haute-Garonne (31)
  • Km: 201

  • Difficulty: Col d’Aubisque, Col du Tourmalet, Col d’Aspin, Col de Peyresourde
  • Number of riders: 7850
  • Number of finishers: 3829
  • Winners:
    • MAN : Nicolas Roux
    • WOMAN : Karine Saysset
  • 19th edition
  • Location: Alpes
  • Departments crossed: Savoie (73), Hautes Alpes (05), Isère (38)
  • Km: 109

  • Difficulty: Col du Télégraphe, Col du Galibier, Alpe d’Huez
  • Number of riders: 9500
  • Number of finishers: 6461
  • Winners:
    • MAN : Jean-Christophe Currit
    • WOMAN : Magdalena de Saint-Jean

  • 19th edition
  • Location: Auvergne
  • Departments crossed: Puy-de-Dôme (63), Haute-Loire (43), Cantal (15)
  • Km: 208

  • Difficulty: Le puy Mary, Col du Perthus, Col de Prat de Bouc
  • Number of riders: 7000
  • Number of finishers: 2094
  • Winners:
    • MAN : Lilian JEGOU
    • WOMAN : Magdalena de Saint-Jean
  • 18th edition
  • Location: The Pyrenees
  • Departments crossed : Pyrénées Atlantiques (64), Hautes Pyrénées (65)
  • Km: 181

  • 17th edition
  • Location : Rhônes-Alpes – Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur.
  • Departments crossed : Drôme (26), Vaucluse (84)
  • Km: 170

  • 16th edition
  • Location: Pyrénées
  • Departments crossed: Pyrénées Atlantiques (64), Hautes Pyrénées (65)
  • Km: 169

  • 15th edition
  • Location: Pyrénées.
  • Departments crossed: Ariège (09), Haute Garonne (38), Hautes Pyrénées
  • Km: 199

  • 14th edition
  • Location: Alpes
  • Departments crossed: Hautes-Alpes (05), Isère (38)
  • Km: 193

  • 13th edition
  • Location: Pyrénées
  • Departments crossed: Pyrénées Atlantiques (64)
  • Km: 179

  • 12th edition
  • Location: Massif Central.
  • Departments crossed: Haute-Vienne (87), Corrèze (19) et Cantal (15)
  • Km: 238,8

  • Difficulties: Col de Lestards (856 m), Col de Néronne (1 442 m), Col du Pas de Peyrol (1 589 m), Col d'Entremont (1 210 m) et Plomb du Cantal (1 392 m).
  • Number of entries: 8 500
  • Numbers of finishers: 6 555
  • The line-up:
    • Raymond Poulidor was in Limoges to give the start of the race.
    • Alain Prost: former Formula 1 driver and quadruple World Champion .
    • Abraham Olano: former team member of the ONCE - EROSKI team between 1999 and 2002 and World road Champion in 1995, winner of the 20th stage of the 1997 Tour de France.
    • Fabrice Guy: Scandinavian Combined Gold Medal at the Albertville Olympic Games.
    • Richard Krajicek: tennisman, Wimbledon winner.
    • Emmanuel Clerico: former F 3 Champion of France and F3000 World Champion.
  • Winners:
    • Cat. A 19-29 years : Loïc Herbreteau.
    • Cat. B 30-39 years : Jean-Christophe Currit, wins the race.
    • Cat. C 40-49 years : Jean-Louis Barot.
    • Cat. D 50-59 years : Michel Sacaze.
    • Cat. E 60 years et + : Georges Baldeyrou.
    • Cat. F Femmes - 35 years : Giana Roberge.
    • Cat. G Femmes 35 years et + : Sophie Lebeaupin.
  • Participating countries:
    • England, United States, Ireland, Switzerland, Japan, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Portugal, Netherlands, Australia, Canada, Sweden, South Africa, Israel, Spain, Brazil, New-Zealand, Norway, Poland, Denmark, Argentina…
  • 6th Trophy for the most animated town:
    • 2009: Paulhac, little town of Cantal, just near Saint-Flour. There was a lot of public because of animations organised.
    • 2003: Aramits.
    • 2002: Flumet en Savoie.
    • 2001: Sarrancolin in the Hautes-Pyrénées.
    • 2000: Sault in the Vaucluse.
    • 1999: Beurières in the Puy de Dôme.
  • Anecdotes:
    • 238,8 km, the longest stage since the creation of the event.
    • A route very difficult with the Volcans d’Auvergne at the end.
    • Last km of the Pas de Peyrol (15-16%) where a lot of participants were walking.
    • The special village in Limoges in the Boulodrome.
    • 2,300 foreigners regsitered.
  • 11th edition
  • Location: Pyrénées
  • Departments crossed: Pyrénées Atlantiques (64)
  • Km: 201,9

  • Difficulties: Col du Soudet, Col de Larrau, Col de Bagargui, Col de Burdincurutcheta.>
  • Number of entries: 8 500
  • Numbers of finishers: 6 388
  • The line-up:
    • Miguel Indurain quintuple winner of the Tour de France who came to celebrate his birthday on the race.
    • Alain Prost former Formula 1 driver and quadruple World Champion.
    • Pierre Berbizier former captain then selector for the XV France team.
    • Abraham Olano former team member of the ONCE - EROSKI team between 1999 and 2002 and World road Champion in 1995, winner of the 20th stage of the 1997 Tour de France.
    • Sylvain Guillaume Scandinavian Combined Silver Medal at the Albertville Olympic Games.
    • Takuma SATO Japanese Formula 3 Champion.
    • Emmanuel Clerico former F 3 Champion of France and F3000 World Champion.
    • Fabrice Guy Scandinavian Combined Gold Medal at the Albertville Olympic Games.
  • Winners:
    • Cat. A 19-29 years : Loïc Herbreteau, Élite 2, wins the race.
    • Cat. B 30-39 years : Laurent Marcon.
    • Cat. C 40-49 years : Jean-Luc Faure.
    • Cat. D 50-59 years : André Fosse.
    • Cat. E 60 years et + : Lindsay Crawford.
    • Cat. F Femmes - 35 years : Stéphanie Gros.
    • Cat. G Femmes 35 years et + : Mylène Julien.
  • Participating countries:
    • Japan, Norway, Vietnam, Tanzania, New Zealand, Israel, Ireland, Spain, Scotland, Denmark, Colombia, China, Canada, Brazil, Belgium, Austria, Australia, Argentina, England, Germany, South Africa, USA.
  • 5th Trophy for the most animated town:
    • ARAMITS, a little town situated in the Barétous Valley, at the foot of the Col de la Pierre St Martin. Aramits is the birthplace of the Musketeers and was elected the most animated town on the 2003 l'Étape du Tour Vélo Magazine.
    • 2002 : Flumet en Savoie.
    • 2001 : Sarrancolin in the Hautes-Pyrénées.
    • 2000 : Sault in the Vaucluse.
    • 1999 : Beurières in the Puy de Dôme.
  • Anecdotes:
    • For the 3rd time, the town of Pau welcomes l’Étape du Tour Vélo Magazine to the delightful village set up at place de Verdun with more than 45 partners present and near to 21 000 visitors.
    • Bayonne, a finishing town for the first time with the last kilometre covered in the heart of the town – sublime!
    • 40°, was the temperature recorded in the village in Pau on the 14th and 15th of July. The Col de Bagargui was terrible for the majority of the pack with gradients of up to 11%.
    • Bayonne, a finishing town for the first time with the last kilometre covered in the heart of the town - sublimate !
    • 78, is the age of the Veteran of the 2003 l’Étape du Tour Vélo Magazine.
    • 1760, is the number of foreign participants.

  • 10th edition
  • Location: Savoie et Haute-Savoie.
  • Departments crossed: Savoie (73) et Haute Savoie (74)
  • Km: 142

  • Difficulties: Col du Cormet de Roselend, Col des Saisies, Col des Aravis, Col de la Colombière.
  • Number of entries: 7500
  • Numbers of finishers: 7108
  • Reception Village: Stadium of the Madelière in the Town of Aime
  • Finish: Stadium Cluses Scionzier in Cluses
  • Weather: nice (at last)
  • Winners:
    • Men : Laurent Marcon (born 26/11/1973).
    • Women : Jeannie Longo (born 31/10/1958)..
  • Participating countries:
    • South Africa, Germany, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Scotland, United Arab Emirates, Spain, USA, England, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Norway, New Zealand, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland.
  • 4th Trophy for the most animated town:
    • Flumet en Savoie
    • 2001 : Sarrancolin in the Hautes-Pyrénées.
    • 2000 : Sault in the Vaucluse.
    • 1999 : Beurières in the Puy de Dôme.

  • 9th edition
  • Location: Hautes-Pyrénées.
  • Departments crossed: Hautes Pyrénées (65)
  • Km: 148

  • Difficulties: Haut de la côte, Côte de Mauvezin, Col d'Aspin, Col du Tourmalet, Montée de Luz-Ardiden.
  • Number of entries: 7 600
  • Nombre de partants: 6 194
  • Numbers of finishers: 5 237
  • Reception Village: Exhibition center in the town of Tarbes
  • Finish: Luz-Ardiden
  • Weather: continual rain showers. (at last)
  • Winners:
    • Men : Igor Pavlov (born le 12/03/69).
    • Women : Élisabeth Chevanne-Brunel (born le 02/03/75).
  • Participating countries:
    • Germany, Andorra, England, Australia, Belgium, Bermuda, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Scotland, Spain, USA, France, Jamaica, Japan, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, New Zealand, Netherlands, Wales, Poland, Portugal, Switzerland.
  • Total: 1 087foreign participants
  • 3rd Trophy for the most animated town:
    • Sarrancolin in the Hautes-Pyrénées
    • 2000 : Sault in the Vaucluse.
    • 1999 : Beurières in the Puy de Dôme
  • Stage numbers:
    • 10 the temperature at the summit of Luz-Ardiden.
    • 15 the number of televisions present on l'Etape.
    • 40 the number of people included in the « director' organisation ».
    • 82 c'est l'âge du vétéran de l'étape.
    • 157 the total number of women entered in the competition.
    • 500 the total number of gendarmes present on the race fir your safety.
    • 600 the total number of organisers for the 2001 edition.
    • 1 087 the total number of foreign participants entered in l'Étape du Tour Vélo Magazine.
    • 4 000 the number of portions of pasta served at the Pasta Party.
    • 65 000 the number of bottles of water available at the different refreshment points.
  • 8th edition
  • Location: Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur.
  • Departments crossed: Vaucluse (84)
  • Km: 155

  • Difficulties: Col de Murs, Col de Notre-Dame des Abeilles, Côte de Mormoiron, Mont Ventoux.
  • Number of entries: 7 561
  • Numbers of finishers: 4 726
  • Reception Village: Sport Center in Carpentras.
  • Finish: Summit Mont Ventoux And the town of Malaucène.
  • Race celebrities:
    • G. Lemond, E. Boyer, B. Cornillet, A. Kvalsvoll, F. Lemarchand, R. Pensec, J. Simon, A. Prost, B. Darniche, P. Belmondo, E. Clerico, P. Portes.
  • Winners:
    •  Men : Igor Pavlov (born 12/03/69).
    • Women : Séverine Desbouys (born 17/08/74).
  • Participating countries:
    • Germany, Andorra, England, Argentin, Belgium, Scotland, Spain, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland, Argentina, Canada, Columbia, The United States, Australia, The United Arab Emirates, Japan, Singapore, South Africa.
  • Total: 1 085 foreign participants.
  • Second Trophy for the most animated town:
    • Sault in the Vaucluse region
    • 1999 : Beurières in the Puy de Dôme.
  • Stage numbers:
    • 1 the temperature at the summit of du Mont Ventoux.
    • 8 the number of televisions present on l'Etape.
    • 27 the number of people included in the organisation team.
    • 88 It is the age of the veteran of the stage.
    • 190 the largest number of participants from the Rhône region.
    • 196 the total number of women entered in the competition.
    • 678 the number of English present at the starting line in Carpentras.
    • 1 084 the total number of foreign participants entered in l'Étape du Tour Vélo Magazine.
    • 1 255 the total number of gifts won in the Tombola on the 10th of July 2000 at the reception village in Carpentras.
  • 7th edition
  • Location: Auvergne.
  • Departments crossed: Loire (42) - Haute Loire (43) - Puy de Dôme (63) - Cantal (15).
  • Km: 203

  • Difficulties: Col de la Croix de l'Homme Mort, Col des Pradeaux, Côte de la Chaise Dieu, Côte de Fix Saint-Geneys, Côte de Lestival, Côte de Védrine Saint-Loup, Saint Flour.
  • Number of entries: 5 302
  • Numbers of finishers: 4 190
  • Reception Village: The St Galmier Hippodrome
  • Finish: Allée G. Pompidou in the upper part of Saint-Flour
  • Weather: Beautiful throughout the day.
  • Race celebrities:
    • E. Clerico, P. Portes
  • Winners:
    • Men : Cyril Bastière (born 27/06/78).
    • Women : Séverine Desbouys (born 17/08/74).
  • Participating countries: :
    • Germany, Andorra, England, Austria, Belgium, Scotland, Spain, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland, Argentina, Canada, Columbia, The United States, Australia, The United Arab Emirates, Japan, Singapore, South Africa.
  • Total: 531 foreign participants.
  • Changes:
    • No more qualifying heats - too complicated to manage and of little value given the number of abandonments last year.
    • The best organization yet of the Etapes du Tour. Our experience shows, especially in terms of security where the road was almost completely closed off for the entire body of riders.
    • Creation of a trophy for the most animated town. first winner: Beurières in the Puy de Dôme.
    • Two villages were particularly successful
    • St Galmier on the Hippodrome and St Flour on the Allées G. Pompidou in the upper part of St Flour.
  • Anecdotes:
    • 35 000 bottles of mineral water
    • 18 000 bananas
    • 6 000 oranges
    • 30 000 slices of ginger bread
    • 5 000 slices of ham
    • 5 000 slices of cheese
    • 5 000 bars of chocolate
    • 10 000 pieces of fruit jelly
    • 6 000 madeleines
    • 525 kg of pasta.
  • Stage number:
    • 4 the number of hospitalized competitors, fortunately nothing serious.
    • 4 the number of kilometers one distracted competitor had to run to get back his bike which he left at the Hippodrome… just before the start !
    • 10 the number of participants who came specially from Japan.
    • 25 the number of Police motorcyclists there to guide the participants.
    • 34 the number of cyclists belonging to the same club, in this case « The Team » from the Paris area.
    • 82 the age of our oldest competitor of the day, Jean Paul Francheteau who came from Roche-sur-Yon.
    • 500 the number of policemen and women spread around the course.
    • 750 the number of volunteers who lent a hand at Saint Galmier, Saint Flour and the length of the course.
    • 1 196 the altitude - in meters - of the du col des Pradeaux pass, the high point of the day.
  • 6th edition
  • Location: Alpes
  • Departments crossed: Isère (38) - Savoie (73)
  • Km: 189

  • Difficulties: Col de la Croix de Fer, Col du Télégraphe, Col du Galibier, Les 2 Alpes
  • Number of entries: 4 638 after the qualifying heats in Périgueux and Mâcon.
  • Numbers of finishers: 2 229
  • Reception Village: Paul-Mistral park in Grenoble
  • Finish: Allée Les Deux Alpes resort
  • Weather: Cold in Périgueux, hot in Macon, beautiful weather on the 23rd for the Grenoble - 2 Alpes race.
  • Race celebrities:
    • A. Prost (in the qualifiying heat), B. Darniche, E. Clerico.
  • Winners:
    • Men : José Doran (born 02/02/66)
    • Women : Christine Muller-Seiller (born 06/08/67)
  • Participating countries:
    • Germany, Andorra, England, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, Canada, The United States, Australia, China, Japan, South Africa.
  • Total: 494 foreign participants.
  • 1998, the first year of qualifying heats:
    • For security reasons and the possible organizational problems posed, we decided to organize two qualifying heats in Périgueux, Dordogne (191km - 2,069 participants) and in Mâcon, Saône et Loire (180km - 3,043 participants) on the 3rd and 10th of May. Two superb races, managed like real étapes du Tour, unforgettable for us as organizers and for all the competitors who were willing to come along.
  • Anecdotes:
    • The Pasta-Party organized in Grenoble's Palais des sports.
    • Terrible heat which led to innumerable abandonments, making it very difficult to pick up competitors. The sweeper cars thus took much longer than usual to reach the finish.
  • Quotes:
    • José Doran, winner, jersey no. 181
      « I decided to win. »
    • Dominique Celle,jersey no. 159
      « You know, I feel better here than at work. »
    • Dieter Kleiser, jersey no. 2028
      « Now all I've got to do is ride back to Grenoble to get my train… »
    • Jean-Luc Félix, jersey no. 218
      « They say the Télégraphe is just a little pass. That's the third time I've tackled it, and the third time I've failed miserably! »
    • Claude Huré, jersey no. 3398
      « With my 100 Kilos, I climbed the Galibier mountain at 32 x 26. Next year, they'll have to introduce weight categories. »
    • Antoinette Rigori, jersey no. 2657
      « On Monday, I'll come and see the pros on the Galibier, but don't print that, I haven't told my boss. »

  • 5th edition
  • Location: Pyrénées
  • Departments crossed: Pyrénées Atlantique (64) - Hautes Pyrénées (65)
  • Km: 185

  • Difficulties: Col du Soulor, Col du Tourmalet, Col d'Aspin, Col de Val Louron-Azet
  • Number of entries: 6 461
  • Numbers of finishers: 4 733
  • Reception Village: Place de Verdun in Pau (where the 1st Etape du Tour had its finishing line)
  • Finish: Loudenvielle
  • Weather: Beautiful day, ideal temperature for the first part of the course, then very hot for the last climb.
  • Race celebrities:
    • B. Darniche, E. Clerico, Th. Magnaldi.
  • Winners:
    • Men : Patrick Bruet (born 02/06/61)
    • Women : Laure Russias (born 05/07/70)
  • Participating countries:
    • Germany, Andorra, England, Belgium, Spain, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, Canada, Colombia, Jamaica, The United States, Australia, China, Japan, South Africa.
  • Total: 359 foreign participants.
  • Anecdotes:
    • The oldest competitor was 85: Paul LAURENT born 02/05/1912 living in HENIN BEAUMONT in the Pas-de-Calais was participating for the last time in our event. Now there's a lesson in willpower!
    • For the first time in the history of the Etape du Tour, the participants were treated to a giant Pasta Party free of charge, organized in the Pau city hall.
    • On the day of the race, a young Polish competitor arrived late with his bag on his back. We had to explain as best we could where he had to take his place. A little disorientated, he set off 10 minutes behind the leaders. How surprised we were to see him finish 2nd just a few minutes behind the leader (making him the winner in real time). This man has since become well known. His name: Grzégorz GWIAZDOWSKI.
    • Loudenvielle, the most magnificent scene for an Etape du Tour finish in the superb Louron valley. With its 350 inhabitants, the village was flooded with people.
    • At 3 in the morning, we can at last reassure one competitor's family members that, quite simply worn out, he had found himself a hotel for the night without calling security.
  • Quotes:
    • Gilbert Landeau, jersey no. 5721
      « Super! Even when no refreshments were scheduled, you could get whatever you wanted. »
    • René Bréhier, jersey no. 5802
      « Was I ill! I threw up five times. »
    • Yves Duffet, jersey no. 357
      « I forgot who the hell I was on the Tourmalet mountain. »
    • Manuel Hilorio, jersey no. 218
      « I got plastered going through cow pats down the Tourmalet. Shit! »
    • Jean-Luc Andral,jersey no. 3712
      « I registered for the Etape first and bought the bike after. »

  • 4th edition
  • Location: Auvergne
  • Departments crossed: Haute Loire (43) - Puy de Dôme (69)
  • Km: 183

  • Difficulties: Col des fourches, Col de Toutée, Côte de Saint Anastaise, Col de Superbesse
  • Number of entries: 5 568
  • Numbers of finishers: 4 550
  • Finish: Superbesse
  • Weather: Rain at the start, cool with snow the day before the race.
  • Race celebrities:
    • A. Prost, Ph. Alliot, P. Belmondo, Ch. Sarron, B. Darniche.
  • Winners:
    • Men: Frédéric Bessy (born 09/01/72)
    • Women: Laure Russias (born 05/07/70)
  • Participating countries::
    • Germany, England, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, The Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Canada, The United States, Australia, Japan, South Africa.
  • Total: 218 foreign participants.
  • Anecdotes:
    • Laurent Jalabert is the event's patron.
    • A first: the reception village is located at the heart of the town, overlooked by the red virgin and open for the first time 2 days in succession.
    • The event takes place in perfect harmony with the region. For example, many competitors were accommondated locally.
    • The Saint Anastaise hill proved too much for the main body of riders - many had to put their feet to the ground to proceed.
    • A sumptuous finish in Superbesse after a tight bend. This last climb was special given that the road was split in two by miles of barriers.
  • Quotes:
    • Patrick François, jersey no 64
      « At 48, if you want to stay with the best of them, you've got to watch your preparation. No more restaurants for me! I can't wait to join my pals and have a drink together. There's cycling and there's cycling… » -
    • Bruno Alquinet, jersey no 499
      « This year's stage was more within reach of most competitors - nice scenery, very well organized, no cars coming the other way… »
    • Alain Hamann, jersey no 321
      « Tough finish. This morning was like going to a school exam. I reckon I just scraped a pass. Full marks for the organization. Now school's over. » 
    • Pierre Tronc, jersey no 140
      « Not as tough as last year but still no easy matter. The Saint Anastaise hill, oh! la la! »
    • Jacqueline Peyrard, jersey no 2709
      « I know the area - I'm from round here. I'm glad I made it to the finish. It was great. Now I've got to ride home 50km away. My husband was supposed to come and fetch me, but he's in a meeting. »

  • 3rd edition
  • Location: Alpes
  • Departments crossed: Savoie (73) - Isère (38)
  • Km: 160

  • Difficulties: Col de la Madeleine, Col de la Croix de Fer, Col de l'Alpe-d'Huez
  • Number of entries: 4 593
  • Numbers of finishers: 2 975
  • Finish: The Alpe-d'Huez resort
  • Weather: Hazy to start with, sunshine for the finish; the tar was starting to melt on the road for the Alpe-d'Huez climb.
  • Race celebrities:
    • A. Prost, P. Belmondo, B. Darniche, P. Portes.
  • Winners:
    • Men : Thierry Bourguignon (born 19/12/62)
    • Women : Marion Clignet (born 021/02/64)
  • Participating countries:
    •  Germany, Andorra, England, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Switzerland, The United States, Australia, Japan.
  • Total: 334 foreign participants.
  • Tragedy:
    • A young competitor, Sylvain Chaigneau, is killed in the Croix de Fer descent. Our thoughts go out to his parents and sister who were present at the accident; it will mark us forever. Our pride as organizer disappears, the Etape du Tour is called into question. Claude Chaigneau encourages us to start afresh in memory of his deceased son. We thank him for his courage, and all those close to Sylvain. Claude now comes each year to hand over a memorial trophy which is awarded to the winner of the 18-25s category.
  • Anecdotes:
    • The reception village is erected on the Aime football pitch with army tents used to retrieve the jersey numbers.
    • A team of extraordinary volunteers helped organize the event, led with a master's hand by Patrick Charrière, deputy mayor of Aime.
    • Increased security, better organized with all the crossroads protected. - Richard Virenque is the event's patron.
    • Bruno Lemoine rode a bicycle similar to that used by Roger Lapébie for his victorious tour in 1937. All the bike's original parts - restored for the event - were used, with a cross bar gear change using 2 chain-wheels of 44 and 50 cogs apiece and 3 gears at the rear, the largest sprocket having 25 cogs.
    • David Pitman jersey 4459 rode - and finished - on a mountain bike.
  • Feats:
    • Internationally renowned handicapped athlete Tristan MOURIC (from Grenoble, he had his left arm and foot amputated following a motorcycle accident) finished the Etape in 1,807th place (531st his category).
  • Quotes:
    • A skiing instructor
      « I made the terrible mistake of putting on new shoes this morning. »
    • Thierry Bourguignon, dossard 6
      « I was unable to take part in the Tour de France because of the Group's withdrawal and was not in good spirits. I even thought about giving up cycling. But the Etape du Tour gave me a target to aim for… »
  • 2nd edition
  • Location: The Pyrenees
  • Departments crossed: Hautes-Pyrénées (65)
  • Km: 160
  • Difficulties: Col de Peyresourde, Col d'Aspin, Col du Tourmalet, Col de Luz Ardiden
  • Number of entries: 4 456
  • Numbers of finishers: 2 454
  • Finish: The Luz Ardiden resor
  • Weather: tarted rainy, then glorious sunshine from the first pass on.
  • Race celebrities:
    • J-C. Killy, A. Prost, Ph. Alliot, P. Belmondo, B. Darniche + 3 pros : L. Roux, F. Teyssier, T. Elissalde.
  • Winners:
    • Men : Igor Pavlov (born 12/03/69)
    • Women : Brigitte Kerlouet (born 11/01/58)
  • Participating countries:
    • Germany, Andorra, England, Belgium, Spain, Luxembourg, Switzerland, United States, Australia.
  • Total: 51 foreign participants.
  • Anecdotes:
    • An edition that was particularly difficult to organize with 3 times as many registrations as the year before.
    • A lack of local coordination and staff volunteers.
    • The starting line was changed 2 hours before the actual start.
    • The only edition of the Etape where the Professional Tour de France organization got mixed up with ours, leading to terrible congestion in the valley and on the Luz-Ardiden climb.
    • A tough race with 4 passes in succession.
    • A large number of abandonments.
    • Cows standing in the middle of the road on the Tourmalet.
  • Quotes:
    • Hervé Coubrèges, jersey no. 1712
      « It's thanks to the Etape du Tour that I got interested in cycling. I was so glad to be a part of it. »
    • Tsen Seong Moong, Malaysian, jersey no. 44
      « These mountains, they gave me the cycling bug. When I would look at the photos in magazines, I would often imagine myself in Indurain's shoes. Today I realized my dream. »
    • André Raymond Rollex, jersey no. 4448 last to finish
      « 200 kilometers of nothing but fun. »
  • 1st edition
  • Location: Pyrénées.
  • Departments crossed: Pyrénées Atlantique (64) - Hautes Pyrénées (65).
  • Km: 190

  • Difficulties: Col du Tourmalet, Col du Soulor, Col de l'Aubisque
  • Number of entries:1 705
  • Numbers of finishers:1 385
  • Finish: Place Royale in Pau
  • Weather: Misty at the start, then sunny but cold in the mountains.
  • Race celebrities:
    • A. Prost, A. de Caunes, P. Belmondo, B. Darniche, J. Réveillon, P. Portes, Y. Hézard, G. Holtz.
  • Winners:
    • Men : Christophe Rinero (born 29/12/73)
    • Women : Maryse Simon (born 01/01/75)
  • Participating countries:
    • Germany, Andorra, England, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, United States.
  • Total: 48 foreign participants.
  • Anecdotes:
    • Edition organized from start to finish in 3 months.
    • A winner who later found fame (4th in the 1998 Tour de France).
    • The event's only indoor start in the Marcadieu Hall.
    • After the race, Josy Pueyto, Deputy Mayor of Pau, accompanied competitors to the starting point in his own car.
  • Quotes:
    • Christope Rinero, dossard 233
      « It's true, I was thinking of Gianni Bugno through the bumps. What's he going to do here? And there? I can't wait to compare his performance with mine after tomorrow's race. »