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via media release
The NSW Government has announced the first ever L’Etape event to be held in Australia, (dubbed L’Etape Australia by the ASO), will come to New South Wales in 2016.
L’Etape Australia is an amateur road cycling event (similar in structure to a gran fondo), held under the banner of the world’s most iconic cycling race, the Tour de France.
The NSW Government, through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, has secured this landmark event for the next three years. SBS together with Lateral Events will co-organise and promote L’Etape Australia.
The waitlist is now open at the official L’Etape Australia website where riders can register for updates and be the first to reserve their place on the start line for December 2016, at www.letapeaustralia.com
SBS Managing Director Michael Ebeid said: “SBS has broadcast the Tour de France for 25 years, a race that captivates Australians with its drama, athleticism and rich history. We’re proud our long-standing relationship with the Tour de France has played a part in bringing to life this opportunity for the world’s most iconic cycling brand to come to NSW.
“This is not a television product, it’s an extension of our on-going commitment to cycling and a fantastic opportunity to further engage the passionate Australian cycling community, inspired by the Tour de France.”
L’Etape Australia will take place over three days in December 2016 in Jindabyne, Perisher and Thredbo, as the Alps and Pyrenees are replaced by the breathtaking landscapes of the New South Wales Snowy Mountains; the challenging terrain a cyclist’s dream.
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events and Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres said: “Cycling tourism is an expanding market delivering important economic, social and environmental benefits to our tourism industry. A high-profile event such as L’Etape Australia is anticipated to deliver in excess of $4 million in visitor expenditure across the three years.”
The route design, crafted to replicate the infamous mountain stages at the Tour de France, is endorsed by Le Tour de France Race Director, Christian Prudhomme.
Christian Prudhomme said: “We know that Australians love the Tour de France and thanks to SBS it has entered into homes Down Under for 25 years now. It is a pleasure to bring the Tour de France universe and flavour to Australia, giving thousands of people an experience similar to that of the Tour riders.”
The event will be open to up to 10,000 amateur cyclists invited to race across three levels of participation.