Etape du Tour 2015 – Spectating

This was my 5th Etape du Tour, but I had the pleasure of not riding it this time because 44|5 had its inaugural Etape du Tour…um, tour. Apart from the weekend being a great success and giving us great motivation to do a repeat next year, John and I, while waiting for our 8 guys to cross the line, got to watch a couple of thousand of others do the same thing.

Both of us saw the first guy cross at 5 hours, then after a quick lunch, never missed a jersey or bike (we were looking for clients) for much of the rest of the day. What I want to say about this is that it was a lot of fun being a spectator of this mad event. We saw all sort of reactions to the finish line coming up; from cool disconnectedness to tears of joy; from cries of pain to final-stretch wheelies; from solo fist pumps to hand-in-hand ‘look no hands’. We saw at least one guy run across the line with his bike over his shoulder and one who rode over it with a flat tire. We witnessed cramps, heat exhaustion, and probably a few other maladies I couldn’t diagnose. And lots and lots of joy at finishing such a tough event. That was the best part for sure, especially since we’ve both been there many times now. My recommendation is that if you’re not going ride the Etape, find a spot at the finish line and watch it happen. You’ll like it.

Here are some random photos we took over the weekend.


Dan, looking proud of his medal.


Matt, our first guy in.



Fabio, waiting patiently in his SAS.


Carbing up on the first night.


Our awesome home for the weekend – La Colombiere


2015-07-19 11.56.30

The winner

2015-07-19 06.31.42

2015-07-18 15.33.54

6 thoughts on “Etape du Tour 2015 – Spectating

  1. Congrats to you and all your finishers (and even any non-finishers, since even to start is an achievement)!

    Just FYI, but the Etape organisers have announced an Etape Australia in Dec 2016. I’ve registered interest, as an expat in the US, but it might be of interest to some readers. It will be bloody hot though in December!

  2. We heard about this Étape in Australia, as well as others, including Brazil. I just saw that La Marmotte is going to have an Italian version, too, so I guess it’s time for these guys to expand their brand. All good news for our community! Would love to hear how it goes so please give us an update.

  3. Gerry

    Small world. Not surprised Matt was the first guy in. I did the Cingles de Ventoux with him last year.
    He only did it about 2 hours faster than me.

    Love your posts and hopefully I’ll be able to come on one of your tours one day as I’d love to get back to the Cevennes.


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    • This is the 2nd ‘small world’ experience I’ve had in this small world in the last two days. Matt was strongest by quite a bit in our group. He told me his Power numbers, so I’m hardly surprised! I’ll put you on our mailing list, so you can see what’s coming up for next year, Peter. We’ve got a couple of tours in the Cevennes now and are adding a couple in Spain that might or might not be interesting. Cheers.

  4. We were sitting at an outdoor restaurant in Annecy when a lad came up pushing his bike with his étape number still attached to the front of his bike. My wife pointed it out to me, kind of goading me since my riding has been a lot less this year. Now in Nice debating renting a bike. Congrats on all for their efforts in the étape.

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