Entries for L'Etape du Tour 2020 open today. The Etape will take place on Sunday 5 July 2020. Entries open at 3pm UK time on the timeto website: www.timeto.com/sports/cycling.
Nice has been confirmed as destination for the 2020 Etape du Tour, which will see two firsts for L'Etape as riders tackle stage 2 of the Tour de France.
The 30th edition of the Étape du Tour will see riders face a 177km course with an elevation gain of 3,570m. It is the first time that the Etape features a coastal route, and also the first time that the course will start and finish in the same city.
The ride will start on the Promenade des Anglais, with 16,000 cyclists setting off en masse from the Mediterranean seafront. The course features three key climbs, starting with the Col de la Colmiane (1500m) and then the Col de Turini (1607m). A third challenge - the Col d'Eze - lies in wait at the 100-mile mark before riders enjoy a long descent back into Nice.
The convenience of the start and finish both being located in Nice is a real bonus for riders, avoiding the logistical headache of transferring to and from distant start/finish points. And going by the teaser video, we're in for a treat:
Here's a quick summary of what lies in store, from the organisers' course notes:
"Following the start on the Promenade des Anglais, riders will draw energy and inspiration from the magnificent setting of the Gorges de la Mescla in the Tinée Valley.
"A rising false flat in the first 50 kilometres will help riders warm up before tackling the first challenge of the day, the Col de la Colmiane, where Simon Yates was victorious on the 2018 edition of Paris-Nice.
"After cresting the Col de la Colmiane, a 20km descent will give the legs a break before the second main challenge, the Col de Turini. Cycling fans may recall this as the site of Colombian Egan Bernal's first success on French roads in this year's Paris-Nice race - foreshadowing his Tour triumph later in the summer.
"To complete the festival of climbing, the route finishes with the ascent of the Col d'Eze, a landmark of the Race to the Sun on top of which Eddy Merckx, Joop Zoetemelk and Sean Kelly sealed their victories in the 1970's and 80's.
"Here riders will have to burn their final reserves against the backdrop of the superb view from the Moyenne Corniche.
"It will also give riders their first glimpse of the finish line, just a few kilometres down the road - but they will need to leave something in the tank to avoid mistakes in the extremely long descent that will take them back to Nice and the finish line."
Registration for the 2020 Etape du Tour opens on Monday 21 October at 3pm UK time. Enter at the timeto website: www.timeto.com/sports/cycling.