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Etape 2014

GarrigouGarrigou Posts: 145
'Word on the street' down here in the Pyrenees is that next year's Etape will either be Pau to St Lary Soulan (which, if it followed the 'natural route' and climbed Tourmalet, Aspin & Pla d'Adet, works out to ~ 160km with 3800m of elevation gain) or Luchon to Hautacam ('only' 130km, but expected to go via Peyresourde, Hourquette d'Ancizan, Tourmalet & Hautacam which adds up to ~ 4250m vertically).

Prudhomme has promised that Tourmalet will be climbed twice in next year's Tour and is looking to give some airtime & a tourism boost to the towns most badly affected by the flash floods which hit the region in June 2013. That makes the likes of Bareges, Lourdes, St Beat & Luz St Sauveur favourites to feature on stage routes.

Bookies would probably favour Pau-Pla d'Adet. Pau has the 'experience' and facilities to be a good Etape village / start-town and it gives the chance for 40-50km of flatter terrain to string things out a bit and avoid the bottlenecks that can occur if there's a big climb too early on.
Between me & Eddy Merckx we've won pretty much everything worth winning on a bike.

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  • You'd think they'd have trouble selling 130k no matter how hard the route. Pyrenees sounds good though.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • jhopjhop Posts: 369
    What date is favourite?
  • davidofdavidof Posts: 2,382
    There is also talk of the Izoard.

    If it is announced before the snows I will try and ride the course. Last year it was a close run, a couple of days after the anouncement it snowed in the Bauges but this melted enough to ride the course (other high cols were closed by the snow, not to reopen until the very late spring, early summer this year).
  • 12th/13th July weekend is probably favourite for a Pau - Pla d'Adet Etape. 19th/20th is the other possibility.

    Now that they're back to a 'one-Etape' strategy (rather than running two as they did in 2011 & 2012), I can't see them doing two years in a row in the Alps. Prudhomme's been quite vocal about wanting to support the flood-damaged areas of the Pyrenees by giving them a tourism boost and the Etape is one of his biggest mechanisms for helping.
    Between me & Eddy Merckx we've won pretty much everything worth winning on a bike.
  • I have it on good authority that the Tour 2014 will be very Pyrenees biased (not much Alps at all), and it's a dead cert that the Etape will be in the Pyrenees, although exactly where, I'm not sure.

    Re. 130km, they didn't have any trouble selling out 2013's 125km.......! (13000+)
  • GarrigouGarrigou Posts: 145
    Pau-Hautacam now emerging as favourite. Slightly disappointing if the route is a straight re-hash of 2008, but if you'd only ever been over Tourmalet in the 1-degree July temperatures that existed on the summit back in 2008 you might fancy coming back in the hope of something warmer!
    Between me & Eddy Merckx we've won pretty much everything worth winning on a bike.
  • I did the Pyrenean a couple of years back and both the Tourmalet and Hautacam were freezing - literally. But then again that is summer in the mountains - you never know what the weather will throw at you as this years Barousse-Bales was a scorcher :-)
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  • Pau-Hautacam: via Marie Blanque, Aubisque, Spandelles (off the northern descent from the Solour) then the final climb? About 160km, 4500m total climbing. Makes a lot of sense if the other two Pyrenean stages are more central/eastern.
    If I can feel the pain in my censored , I mustn't be hurting my legs enough.
  • mrc1mrc1 Posts: 852
    We have heard similar regarding Pau-Hautacam (though we had heard rumours of a route closer to 180-200km) so looks like that is the likely option!

    It's a shame about the Pla d'Adet stage as our chalet is in Saint Lary Soulan, however the logistics of getting thousands of riders down from Pla d'Adet and then out of the Saint Lary valley would have been tricky to say the least!
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  • js14js14 Posts: 193
    Pau-Hautacam: via Marie Blanque, Aubisque, Spandelles (off the northern descent from the Solour) then the final climb? About 160km, 4500m total climbing. Makes a lot of sense if the other two Pyrenean stages are more central/eastern.
    If so, I think ASO would be striking a good balance between achievable for weekend cyclists like myself :oops: and those who want something more difficult and with more prestige. It would be about 30km longer and 1000m more climbing than 2013.

    Thomas Vergouwen's site http://www.velowire.com/article/776/fr/tour-de-france-2014---les-rumeurs-sur-le-parcours-et-les-etapes--.html usually manages to work out most of the route before the official annoncement based on tip-offs, newspapers cuttings, hotel bookings and intuition. Velowire seems to think a Pau- Hautacam stage is a safe bet with a second Pyreneen stage finishing at Pla d'Adet (Saint-Lary-Soulan) and possibly starting in Bagnères-de-Luchon with the Pau stage most likely to be chosen as the Etape du Tour on July 13th. There still seems to be plenty of hotel rooms in Pau, so book one now, if you believe this rumour.

    Mind you I wonder if there is a possibility of a EdT starting in Tarbes (and not Bagnères-de-Luchon) for the other Pyreneen stage as there is a suspicious shortage of hotel rooms in Tarbes on July 12th. I don't know the Pyrenees, but would Tarbes -> Saint-Lary-Soulan be a possibility?
  • Soon all will be revealed. Needless to say, some who think they have the scoop are wrong, and some are right. One thing is for sure - 2014 is going to be a good year for the Pyrenees :-)
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    Independent or supported cycling holidays in the French Pyrenees
  • stanthomasstanthomas Posts: 265
    edited October 2013
    L’étape du tour : Pau - Hautacam / 20 juillet 2014 - 22e édition
    http://www.letapedutour.com/ET1/fr/homepage.html
    Registration opens 12 November.

    148km and, at a guess, 3500m ascent.
  • L'Etape du Tour Mondovélo on 20th July.
    http://www.strava.com/routes/55191
    gallery_1_85_1859.png
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  • manxshredmanxshred Posts: 287
    Hmm, I was thinking of a 10 day trip doing the Marmotte and then the Etape, but that is out now with this being on the 20th.
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  • 56mph56mph Posts: 70
    stanthomas wrote:
    L’étape du tour : Pau - Hautacam / 20 juillet 2014 - 22e édition
    http://www.letapedutour.com/ET1/fr/homepage.html
    Registration opens 12 November.

    148km and, at a guess, 3500m ascent.

    A re-run of 2008 then....am not too enthused as that one was wet wet wet...and cold too waiting in the pen at the top of Hautacam to be allowed to descend past those climbing up the narrow road...but as always will end up registering and enjoying it in the end! :)
  • js14js14 Posts: 193
    I see tonight there are few hotel rooms left in Pau, at least those bookable online, on the eve of the Etape du Tour. I managed to reserve one last night thanks to the tip off on Velowire yesterday afternoon that correctly reported the date and route for the event. Well done Mr. Vergouwen!
  • Fantastic day in Paris today - great to see Welcome Yorkshire out in force, and even better to see that the Pyrenees will once again decide who wins in Paris. Etape Pau - Hautacam is tough but nothing like Pau - Luchon a few years back. If it is wet and cold it will be miserable, if it is hot and sunny people will melt. Either way its still worth a go :-)
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    Independent or supported cycling holidays in the French Pyrenees
  • Hmmm, which I'd put a tenner on this route, I was convinced the Tourmalet would be in there somewhere.

    I'll be staying with a mate at his place in Biarritz - for those that struggle to find a place in Pau, Biarritz could be worth a look; great place to stay (Pau is pretty boring if you ask me) and it's not such a bad drive early in the morning (depending on your start pen of course..!)

    And if this Etape was cold and nasty in 2008, and the 2012 one was too, then the odds must be that this one will be nice, right?!
  • Regarding accomodation, you will always find somewhere cheap in Lourdes (more 1 and 2 star hotels than any other city after paris) - easy drive into Pau in the morning as well as an easy ride back from the Hautacam at the end of the day. Bike or train to Pau on the Monday to collect car!
    If I can feel the pain in my censored , I mustn't be hurting my legs enough.
  • mrc1mrc1 Posts: 852
    Well worth a read if you are planning to enter:

    http://www.ledomestiquetours.co.uk/etape-du-tour-2014-the-route-and-cols/
    http://www.ledomestiquetours.co.uk

    Le Domestique Tours - Bespoke cycling experiences with unrivalled supported riding, knowledge and expertise.

    Ciocc Extro - FCN 1
  • mrc1mrc1 Posts: 852
    edited October 2013
    +1 to hotels in Lourdes for anybody self organising. The place is kitted out with more hotel rooms than anywhere else in France other than Paris, so you should be able to find something suitable without too much trouble. It's less than an hour's drive to the start pens, but unless you have two vehicles (one to dump in Pau and one to leave at the finish) or can use one of the shuttle bus services things will be slightly tricky logistics wise. As a back up I wouldn't panic too much if you are looking at sites like booking.com. Lots of hotels don't use booking.com and lots of people reserve rooms through booking.com and then cancel them in the weeks beforehand so it is fairly common to be able to pick rooms up nearer the time if you search regularly or deal directly with hotels.

    Hasn't really been brought up as yet on this thread but I posted the below in response to someone on another forum who observed that this year's Etape was a bit of a let down route wise. I'd be interested to hear other people's thoughts.

    My take on the route is that the shorter distance and two Cols (while still incredibly challenging - it is the Tourmalet and Hautacam after all...) makes it more attractive to first timers and those looking to immerse themselves in the whole Etape and TdF experience (which is the Etape's defining USP), as opposed to slogging around a brutally tough course for the sake of a huge stats pile.

    I think this is refreshing rather than a continued attempt to get involved in the distance/elevation/bad conditions arms race that is happening with other events trying to make a name for themselves in a crowded market (and which several recent Etapes (particularly Acte 2 in 2012 - 200km, 5 Cols and awful weather) had fallen victim to) as ultimately people are entering the Etape to challenge but enjoy themselves. As a side note, having had a lovely group of people with us for that Etape, there were smiles of relief at the finish line rather than enjoyment!

    So to me it seems that ASO want the Etape to fall back into a position alongside events like the London Marathon as the public face and gateway of the discipline, while other less high profile events provide the crazy high mileages/brutal elevation profiles?
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    Le Domestique Tours - Bespoke cycling experiences with unrivalled supported riding, knowledge and expertise.

    Ciocc Extro - FCN 1
  • mrc1 wrote:
    Hasn't really been brought up as yet on this thread but I posted the below in response to someone on another forum who observed that this year's Etape was a bit of a let down route wise. I'd be interested to hear other people's thoughts.

    I find the route a bit disappointing too. If we turn back to 2012, at 148km we still had two mountains, 1000+ metres climbing and 50+km to ride. But I can understand the organiser's position; more entries, and more finishers, in one event in 2013 than the epics of 2012 put together.

    And I've never seen the Tourmalet (in 2012 I could scarcely make out the sides of the road) so I'm tempted to give this one a try. Plus the finish is close enough to the start to make it reasonable to stay near enough to Pau to ride in in the morning and ride back to your hotel/campsite at the end. See you there.
  • stueysstueys Posts: 1,332
    Slightly sad they didn't try to get another circular route in. Last year was absolutely perfect logistics wise, the faff is a big negative after that.
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 6,327
    When I heard it was the Pyrenees I was rather hoping for the Circle of Death, I can see how that might be a bit much for many though and the Tour organisers seem to be moving away from epic stages like that. As it is though I'm out.
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  • dandrewdandrew Posts: 175
    Downhill from Hautacam to Lourdes, then it's only 40 km or so on flattish roads back to Pau. Livens it up a bit for those who say this is too short etc.
  • dandrew wrote:
    Downhill from Hautacam to Lourdes, then it's only 40 km or so on flattish roads back to Pau. Livens it up a bit for those who say this is too short etc.
    If it's a nice day, it would be much more interesting to drop down into Argelès-Gazost then return to Pau via the Soulor and Aubisque. 80kms but it climbs the easy side and would make for a grand day out.
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