Etape du Tour 2019

Sunday 21st July 2019

Albertville to Val Thorens - 131km

Keen to do my first Etape du Tour. Logistically looks a bit tricky due to start and finish being 40 miles apart. I am thinking stay in Moutiers which is roughly halfway and either cycle or transfer to the start. From the finish line to Moutiers is all downhill.

What's everyone's thoughts?
Canyon Endurace Ultegra di2
Canyon Grand Canyon CF
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Posts

  • Sounds sensible.

    Whilst the shortest route in a few years it looks like it could have the most climbing. So by no means a walk in the park!

    Riding away from the finish is a good idea, they do normally have a bus that you can pay for a seat on that will take you back to the start. However looking at the road layout the bus will be caught in the same traffic as everyone else. Last year was terrible and there was more than one road out...

    I had he same idea about moutiers, so given we’ve both thought about it best getting booking early!

    Hope it works for you, it’s a great experience and massively recommended.
  • vpnikolovvpnikolov Posts: 568
    There is secure bike parking at the start, you can leave your bike there and just take a shuttle.

    Me and my mates are staying in the village just under Val Thorens - Les Menuires.

    4500m in three mountains... tasty. Not sure how to prepare for this one in the UK.........
  • BikequinBikequin Posts: 402
    Looks like one of the easier routes in recent years - the climb up to Val Thorens is long but not eye watering gradients.
    You'll not see nothing like the mighty Quin.
  • Dorset_BoyDorset_Boy Posts: 2,315
    Where to stay will depend on whether you have a car (or cars) available to you out there. Moutiers to Albertville is no more than 15 minutes by car usually, so you could stay anywhere in the VT valley, drive to near Albertville for the start and then pick the car up in the late afternoon.
  • js14js14 Posts: 182
    I haven't done the Etape for a few years, so I'll give it a try in 2019 even though the entry fee seems to be ever higher, 115€ this time :( . I bit the bullet and signed up today, so I am in :D. (The French online shop Alltricks, which is an EdT partner, has sent out a link which gives early access to online entries ahead of tomorrow's start for the general public.)
  • Dorset_BoyDorset_Boy Posts: 2,315
    Almost sold out already - 3 days advance sales and less than 12 hours open to all.....
  • js14js14 Posts: 182
    This evening the EdT sites says it is sold out apart from some packages with accommodation included or fund raising places. All I can say is "Blimey, that was quick!"
  • js14 wrote:
    This evening the EdT sites says it is sold out apart from some packages with accommodation included or fund raising places. All I can say is "Blimey, that was quick!"

    Indeed! By the time i'd got home from work and logged on all the 'normal' places had gone. In previous years it had been Christmas before it was sold out.

    There was a comment above about pre-sales. How do you get access to those places? (so I know for next year)

    4500m climbing is more than the last few years (average about 4000m iirc) and they are advising riding away from the finish so the claimed 135km is going to feel like a lot more once the day is done!

    Good luck to those that got places, I'm hoping they'll open up a few more once things have settled down.
  • n1ckstern1ckster Posts: 158
    I think it is the 'pre-sales' tickets that have sold-out, and the more expensive general release of tickets go on sale on the 5th of November (according to various websites).

    Definitely do not plan on being collected in VT, and I wouldn't be tempted to book the shuttle bus. There is only one road in and one road out so it won't be open to motorised traffic until the event has finished. Best bet by far is to freewheel the 35km downhill to Moutier and make arrangements from there.

    Nick
  • vpnikolov wrote:
    There is secure bike parking at the start, you can leave your bike there and just take a shuttle.

    Me and my mates are staying in the village just under Val Thorens - Les Menuires.

    4500m in three mountains... tasty. Not sure how to prepare for this one in the UK.........

    Fred Whitton in May

    and this one in June, simples...

    http://www.aukweb.net/events/detail/19-274/
  • js14js14 Posts: 182
    n1ckster wrote:
    I think it is the 'pre-sales' tickets that have sold-out, and the more expensive general release of tickets go on sale on the 5th of November (according to various websites).

    Definitely do not plan on being collected in VT, and I wouldn't be tempted to book the shuttle bus. There is only one road in and one road out so it won't be open to motorised traffic until the event has finished. Best bet by far is to freewheel the 35km downhill to Moutier and make arrangements from there.

    Nick

    If you look here, http://www.letapedutour.com/en/event/news#news-133-sold-out, they had already sold 13000 bibs yesterday evening before later announcing the event was sold out. The general sale started around midday yesterday.

    There's an interview with ASO here (in French) https://www.velo101.com/cyclosport/article/thomas-delpeuch-edt-albertvilleval-thorens--20541 where one of the organisers suggests they will stop vehicles descending until 18:30 as there is no alternative route for the last 20km to Val Thorens, as Nick points out. Don't worry, say the organisers, you can amuse yourselves in the shops and restaurants while you wait! Don't forget your credit card and warm clothing...

    I wonder if cyclists will be allowed down before. It could be pretty frightening if thousands are hurtling down at 60+ km/h on one side of the road whle the others are climbing up the other side.
  • Hidden in the FAQs

    How and when can I get back down from Val Thorens?

    This year, the route is a unique road leading to Val Thorens for the last 20 kilometres. This road (D117) from Les Frênes (front D96) will therefore be completely closed to traffic from 9.30am to 7pm. For obvious safety reasons, ONLY cyclists will be tolerated on the way down from 1pm and at a very slow pace because they will be in the opposite direction of the race on a "semi-secure" and narrow corridor. Be careful, from Val Thorens to this intersection it will take about 45 minutes by bike.
  • js14js14 Posts: 182
    Hidden in the FAQs ...
    Well spotted, and I'm reassured. A few years back, those already finished were descending the Semnoz to return to Annecy, some at 70km/h, and it would only have taken one to lose control of his bike on a bend and plough into the cyclists going up to cause a major accident.
  • JSSJSS Posts: 55
    I've done my annual Etape route analysis:

    https://www.sportive.com/cycling-traini ... al-thorens

    Looks like a good but tough one...very weather dependent, I'd say...
  • Re: climb to Val Thorens "I think that is what is technically known as non trivia" LOL

    My view is that I think it's going to be a lot harder than the 135km suggests.

    I rode the Beaufort -> Cormet de Roselend -> Borg last year and I think your comments are spot on. The climb is gradual but long and again mostly in the trees. Once you're over the first summit of the main climb the view of the lake is stunning, i mean really stunning, but it's not actually the top there's still a fair way to go and you're out of the trees now. It should still be early so no need to worry about it being too hot, climbing in the heat, that may still be to come! IIRC the decent is mostly tree lined and fast. The hairpins, as you say, may catch a few people out but you can see them coming so should have time to take care (if you choose to).

    2000+m climb to finish will be brutal, Izoard was challenging because of the heat, if it's the same for 2019 good luck!
  • I have ridden most of that route (apart from VT). The climbs to that point are relatively steady and the descent of the Roselend (especially to the top half) is very fast.

    You will have to descend the Col du Tra prior to VT - which is quite technical descent - steepish with 20 plus hairpins. I should have guessed it was in the Tour this year as the bottom half was being resurfaced - hopefully the potholes and gravel will be no longer!

    Col du tra - http://1330roadcycling.com/project/notre-dame-du-pre/
  • What would be the best wheel options for the Etape? I have a set of carbon Wheelsmith 38mm wheels and some older H Plus Son Archetype alu rim wheels I could use.

    Carbon still too much of a risk in the mountains? I've ridden the Alps before so my braking technique is ok..
    S-Works Tarmac SL5 Di2
    Kinesis 4s Disc Di2
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,571
    carbon is fine. use the carbons if you want.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • Dear all - any tips as to where I might still acquire an entry only? I know officially it's sold out but some of these tour operators offer entry only I've been told?
    thanks
  • Dear All,

    I will be doing my first Etape ever this year. I am staying at St Martin de Belleville, which is about 10 miles down the slope from Val Thorens. I would appreciate any tips about training and prep for the day.

    Training is going very well and I am really looking forward to it.
  • Dorset_BoyDorset_Boy Posts: 2,315
    Drink loads and loads if it is hot. Take advantage of the drinks stations half way up climbs. Expect to have to feed on gels rather than solids if it is hot.
    Don't hammer it out the gate, pace yourself.
    The last climb is over 30 kms long - you need to know what power you can ride at for that length when climbing or know your heart rate.
    Make sure you are very comfortable with the distance as you can't replicate the climbing part in training.
  • Any comments on the Roselend profile posted by the Etape folks? It has a couple very steep kms at the start that don't show on other profiles of the climb. Does the Etape plan a different route for the early part of the climb?
  • Def DefyrDef Defyr Posts: 45
    Any comments on the Roselend profile posted by the Etape folks? It has a couple very steep kms at the start that don't show on other profiles of the climb. Does the Etape plan a different route for the early part of the climb?

    Yeah, I noticed that too. I'm thinking that a 13 percent gradient that early could be a bit of a clusterf***.

    As for getting back from VT, I'm a bit puzzled too. I was going to stay in Albertville (we're going to Geneva the next day by rail for a holiday), so will probably bite bullet and take shuttle (and nap in traffic...)

    I'm going to spend a few days around Samoens I think in late May/early june and do the Joux Plane, Ramaz and Samoens 1600 climbs. I've done a few 30km climbs like the one to VT and you really just need to find a groove. I don't mind hot, but tbh cool and drizzly would be nicer...
  • teebs_123teebs_123 Posts: 454
    How's the training going for everyone? I've managed to beat my mileage from 2018 already so I'm feeling positive towards the Etape!

    I'll be in Annecy for around 5 days before the event so will get some steady training in prior to the event, will do Semnoz and Col de la Croix de Fer, the latter is a good training climb given its length and gradients.
    S-Works Tarmac SL5 Di2
    Kinesis 4s Disc Di2
  • darthmaul40darthmaul40 Posts: 11
    Dorset Boy wrote:
    Drink loads and loads if it is hot. Take advantage of the drinks stations half way up climbs. Expect to have to feed on gels rather than solids if it is hot.
    Don't hammer it out the gate, pace yourself.
    The last climb is over 30 kms long - you need to know what power you can ride at for that length when climbing or know your heart rate.
    Make sure you are very comfortable with the distance as you can't replicate the climbing part in training.

    Thanks so much for your response. I managed to get out to Majorca with my son in February and I got to test myself on some climbs out there. I am really looking forward to the Etape it is not long now. I just have to sort out my bike hire, which I should do in the next few days.
  • philbar72philbar72 Posts: 2,179
    Any comments on the Roselend profile posted by the Etape folks? It has a couple very steep kms at the start that don't show on other profiles of the climb. Does the Etape plan a different route for the early part of the climb?

    Roselend isn't that hard and the hardest bits are the insides of the hairpins near the base of the climb, just take that bit steady. its steady up the first few km, then you've some open space, the top is always a headwind :)
  • Crown JewelCrown Jewel Posts: 545
    Yes, it seems that the early kms are at a moderate gradient. This is what shows in most profiles of the climb. But the Etape profile shows 2 kms at 12% or more, which seems odd. Thanks for the perspective.
  • js14js14 Posts: 182
    I notice my bib number is now available on the TimeTo website, apparently since 14th June. Mine's in pen 7, which is quite generous considering I haven't done the EdT since Megève-Morzine 2016, when I finished in a not so spectacular 9000th or so.
  • Dorset_BoyDorset_Boy Posts: 2,315
    Gulp, mine is 1401, so after the first 500 who tend to be ex-pros, young pros or other top racers, it's the first wave.

    Still my son has reminded me that I was in the top 1,200 finishers last time in 2016.
  • Def DefyrDef Defyr Posts: 45
    #12794, wave 12 -- so, any idea what time I'll actually be starting?

    If I finish 12,793 I'll be happy. Have never done it before so just estimated how long it was take based on not really being able to train for mountains. I'm mostly going for the experience of doing a sportive -- if I like it I'll probably get more into that scene.

    I'm going to Gap this weekend for some mountain training, so if I can do a few 80-100 km loops with a few cols I'm hoping that will give me a base.

    @DorsetBoy Being in the top 1400 on the Megeve Morzine etape is pretty damn good. I happened to be in Samoens that day on a hiking vacation and watching the start of the joux plane climb is what got me interested in signing up this year.
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