• L'Etape du Tour is coming to Australia in December 2016. ((SBS))Source: (SBS)
The New South Wales government has today announced the first Tour de France event ever to be held in Australia, and you could be riding your bike in it, competing for the jersey of your dreams.
Cycling Central

9 Jul 2015 - 8:01 AM  UPDATED 21 Jul 2015 - 11:26 AM

L’Etape Australia by Le Tour de France, will come to the state in 2016 and is a premier amateur road cycling event, held under the banner of the world’s most iconic cycling race, the Tour de France.

NSW Government, through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, has secured the landmark event for the next three years. SBS, together with Lateral Events, will co-organise and promote L’Etape Australia.

The waitlist is now open at the official L’Etape Australia website where riders can register for updates and be the first to reserve their place on the start line for December 2016.

SBS Managing Director Michael Ebeid said: “SBS has broadcast the Tour de France for 25 years, a race that captivates Australians with its drama, athleticism and rich history. We're proud our long-standing relationship with the Tour de France has played a part in bringing to life this opportunity for the world’s most iconic cycling brand to come to NSW.

“This is not a television product. It’s an extension of our ongoing commitment to cycling and a fantastic opportunity to further engage the passionate Australian cycling community, inspired by the Tour de France.”

Simon Baggs, the chief executive of Lateral Events, said: “L’Etape Australia by Le Tour de France will be a major addition to Lateral’s portfolio of events. We relish the challenge of presenting an event run at international professional standards for Australia’s ever growing army of amateur riders and establishing this event as an extraordinary must-do cycle event – the excitement is palpable.”

L’Etape Australia by Le Tour de France will take place over three days in December 2016 in

Jindabyne, Perisher and Thredbo, as the Alps and Pyrenees are replaced by the breathtaking landscapes of the New South Wales Snowy Mountains and the challenging terrain cyclists dream of conquering.

NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events and Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres said: “Cycling tourism is an expanding market delivering important economic, social and environmental benefits to our tourism industry. A high-profile event such as L’Etape Australia is anticipated to deliver in excess of $4 million in visitor expenditure across the three years.”

The route design, crafted to replicate the infamous mountain stages at the Tour de France, is endorsed by Le Tour de France race director Christian Prudhomme, who said: “We know that Australians love the Tour de France and thanks to SBS it has entered into homes Down Under for 25 years now.

“It is a pleasure to bring the Tour de France universe and flavour to Australia, giving thousands of people an experience similar to that of the Tour riders.”

Riders will compete for the legendary Tour de France yellow, green, polka dot and white jerseys, with up to 10,000 amateur cyclists invited to race across three levels of participation.

The Race, the flagship competitive ride with significant mountainous terrain operated under professional race conditions, will replicate a stage of the Tour de France. The Ride is a slightly shorter route for seasoned riders, while The Ramble is an easier course accessible to riders of all abilities.

Some of the biggest names in world cycling will come to NSW for L’Etape Australia to act as Pro Mentors and coach, mentor and ride alongside the participants.

More information on L’Etape Australia 2016, including the race route, entry details and Pro Mentors will be announced in the coming months.

About L’Etape du Tour

L’Etape du Tour (French for ‘a stage of the tour’) was established in 1993 by ASO (Amaury Sport Organisation) to allow cyclists to experience a stage of the Tour de France first-hand. ASO has since extended the L’Etape concept internationally bringing the unique Tour de France experience to the United Kingdom, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, and from December 2016, NSW, Australia.