Etape 2009 advice please.

Discussion in 'Sportives' started by andyfromotley, 15 Jun 2008.

  1. andyfromotley

    andyfromotley New Member

    Otley, west yorks
    Inspired by the White Rose Classic, considering aiming for next years etape.

    Any obvious pointers or recommendations as to signing up, travel company etc.

    Thanks andy
  2. Hi,
    don't know how much you already know about the Etape.

    These days you can only get a place that is offered by of one the 'accredited Etape partner' travel companies (Graham baxter plus some others - a quick search on the web will tell you).

    They uaually have a few 'entry only' places(£100 plus !) available(sometimes only available of you sign up for one of thier training weekends), otherwise its a £500+ for the organised trip(entry ,travel and accomodation).

    There are various threads on various forums about the quality of the accomodation and organisation.

    The Etape has gained huge popularity over recent years. However it seems to be losing its appeal slightly as the cost is becoming prohibitive. Up until this year places filled up very quickly. Perhaps becuase of the increasing cost of entry (and 'novice' riders now realising whats involved) demand seems to be on the wane.

    Plus - over the last few years - there have been grumblings that many 'novice' Brits have undertaken it, and underestimed whats involved (ie level of fitness reqd) requiring a lot of broom wagons to ferry riders to the finish. This was especially true last year and in 2005(I think).

    There are a lot of other continental sportives that offer just as much atmosphere and challenge (Marmotte, Maratona etc) without the added cost of entry (my Marmotte entry for this year is 30 Euros - plus I'm taking it in as part of my family holiday as I have for the last couple of years - I get a week in Bourg D'Osanions and the wife gets 2 weeks in the south of France - fair trade !). 6,500 riders started last years Marmotte. Riding the Marmotte is almost a 'rite of passage' for many Dutch riders.

    If you've never experieced riding in the Alps or Pyrenees its well worth a trip to get a feel of the climbs. There's nothing in this country to compare (IMO).

    Hope I haven't put you off. I did the Etape 10 years ago (one of the hardest ever - basically over the Marmotte route) and it was great. I'm sure I'll do it again some day.
  3. kennykool

    kennykool Well-Known Member

    Was it the Etape de Tour or the Etape caledonia you were asking about?
  4. OP

    andyfromotley New Member

    Otley, west yorks
    sorry, etape de tour.
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