Chris Froome joins thousands at ICAP L’Etape London by Le Tour de France
Chris Froome, a three-time winner of the world’s most famous cycle race, joined thousands of amateur cyclists at ICAP L’Etape London by Le Tour de France on Sunday 25th September. Froome’s appearance inspired riders, who had travelled from all over the UK and beyond, to complete the popular sportive which has quickly become a firm favourite in the cycling calendar. As well as great riding, cyclists enjoyed a number of Le Tour de France experiences including the red Skoda’s and podium finish synonymous with the pro event.
With distances of 79km, 147km and 185.5km offered, riders had plenty of choice when it came to picking their route, and the majority had confidently picked the longest available. The course followed many of the same roads as Stage Three from the Grand Départ of the 2014 Tour de France. The start and finish were dominated by the iconic Lee Valley VeloPark, instantly recognisable from the 2012 Olympic Games, including the excitement of finishing with a timed lap around the Park. Once passing underneath the famous red arch, the riders were encouraged to do the 1km as fast as possible to see how fast a time they could post; a task significantly easier for those that hadn’t spent 8 hours completing the long route course.
Chris Froome helped start off the waves of cyclists, offering words of advice and encouragement that would help them over the coming hours and miles. Afterwards he jumped on his bike and joined riders on the course to ride over to a feed station on route, and provided much needed encouragement and SiS energy gels to passing riders. Carolyn Lawrence who rode on the day said: “For me it was a chance in a lifetime to meet such a wonderful person and I will always remember it”.
Spectators gathered to view the great man himself re-join the action when he tackled the final 1km lap around the Lee Valley VeloPark, ushering home a number of finishing riders. Although he would never admit it, it was clear to see from his flying lap that Chris has not lost any of his competitive nature, and he clocked a 1KM time of one minute and fifteen seconds, fast enough (unsurprisingly) to be the quickest of the day.
If his lap didn’t generate enough excitement, then Chris’ presence at the finishing line saw crowd numbers grow to an even greater extent and the delight on riders’ faces was there for everyone to see. There was even the opportunity for a lucky few to pose for a photo with Mr Froome atop the replica podium, a place he is very much accustomed to being.
ICAP L’Etape London by Le Tour de France was an unforgettable experience for those taking part, with many stories being exchanged in the event village afterwards over a cold ERDINGER Alkoholfrei, or some hard earned dinner. The ride also raised thousands of pounds for official charity Access Sport. Riders can find their times and splits by visiting www.humanrace.co.uk/results
This was the final event of the year in the 2016 UK L’Etape series which started in June. However, entries for next year’s Dragon Ride L’Etape Wales by Le Tour de France have just opened, where riders will get the opportunity to take on some stunning riding, and become King or Queen of the Mountains.