The annual Etape du Tour, which takes place each year during the Tour de France and covers the route of one of that year’s mountain stages, is widely considered one of the highlights of the European cyclosportive calendar. Unquestionably one of the toughest Etapes yet staged, the 2007 edition between Foix and Loudenville gave finishers a fantastic sense of achievement and ensured the Etape du Tour’s position as one of the great challenges in cycling.
Precise details of the 2008 edition have yet to be announced, but it will take place between 14 and 17 July and places are expected to be a premium. Those cyclosportifs wishing to guarantee themselves a place can do so through UK-based Sports Tours International Ltd, which in conjunction with Graham Baxter Sporting Tours and Wheel 2 Wheel is offering the chance to reserve a place on next years event, now.
Prospective entrants pay a non-refundable deposit, (deductable from the final package or entry only price), of £50.00 to secure a place for July 2008. Once the route is announced and the available packages released, they will be the first to be informed, before the packages go on general sale, ensuring that they have first choice on availability.
To reserve a place, go to the website at www.sportstoursinternational.co.uk, download a booking form, complete the contact details, and forward with payment for £50.00. State ‘Etape Reservation’ across the top, and your place is secure (subject to availability at time of booking). You will need a doctor’s note or British Cycling racing licence, to be returned with your entry forms in early 2008, in order to take part.