Etape du Tour 2017 route to finish with summit finish on Col d’Izoard

Sportive riders set to tackle 178km route from Briancon to the Col d'Izoard on Sunday July 16

The 2017 edition of the Etape du Tour will take place on Sunday July 16 on the route for stage 18 of the Tour de France – concluding with the first-ever summit finish on the Col d’Izoard.

The Etape du Tour, which first took place in 1993, sees sportive riders take on a stage of the Tour de France (with the peloton set to take on stage 18 four days later on Thursday July 20), and 15,000 amateur cyclists are expected to take part in 2017.

Entries for the 2017 Etape du Tour open on Friday October 21 and you can secure a guaranteed spot on the start line with Sports Tours International, who also offer a wide selection of hotels in the start town, airport transfers and event support.

The 2017 Etape du Tour will see sportive riders tackle a 178km route from Briancon to the Col d’Izoard

The 178km stage will start in the Alpine town of Briancon and riders will first tackle the Col de Vars, which tops out at 2,108m – but it is the Col d’Izoard which undoubtedly takes centre stage.

The Izoard first appeared in the Tour in 1922 and has been used 34 times since – but never as a summit finish. Riders will climb the southern ascent from Guillestre, which rises for 31.5 km (19.6 mi) at an average gradient of 4.8 per cent to reach the summit at 2,360m.

That average gradient belies the true difficulty of the climb, with the road pitching up to ten per cent for long stretches over the second half of the climb.

The upper part of the climb is known as the Casse Déserte thanks to the dramatic, foreboding and barren scree slopes which will await riders.

The Casse Déserte has hosted some of the most dramatic moments in Tour de France history and a memorial at the summit pays tribute to two of the Tour’s most famous riders, two-time winner Fausto Coppi and three-time winner Louison Bobet.

Visit the Sports Tours International website to sign-up and ride an official stage of the 2017 Tour de France.

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