Closed road sprint challenge at TP ICAP L’Etape London by Le Tour de France
A timed, closed-road sprint challenge will allow cyclists taking part in the 2017 TP ICAP L’Étape London by Le Tour de France to emulate the professionals of Le Tour by charging for the line and seeing how they compare against their rivals. Green and white jerseys and L’Étape du Tour places will be awarded to the fastest riders.
For the first time, two intermediate sprints have been added to the course of the 186km Long and 147km Medium routes. The first of the closed-road stretches will come after 48km of both routes near the village of Takeley, with the second, near Roxwell, arriving after 99km of the Medium route and 138km of the Long. Authentic Tour de France signage will count down the distance until the intermediate sprints, allowing riders to get their speed up and even organise a lead-out train. With 200 metres to go, it will be time to ‘drop the hammer’ as riders pass over a timing mat and give everything all the way to the line, where the clock will be stopped.
All participants, including those taking part in the 79km Short distance, will once again have the opportunity to end their ride with a sprint finish at the Lee Valley VeloPark. Three-time Tour de France champion, Chris Froome, recorded a time of 1 minute 15 seconds on the 1km road-circuit at the 2016 event, giving this year’s riders a benchmark to compare themselves against. Last year, the fastest male and female sportive riders were Artem Ponomarev and Cat Gaskell, setting times of 1 minute 22 seconds and 1 minute 32 seconds respectively. Both had completed the Long Routes before their sprint effort.
This year, each rider’s times for the three sprint sections (one for riders of the Short route) will be combined to produce the results of the TP ICAP L’Etape London by Le Tour de France Sprint Challenge. The male and female Long Route riders with the quickest times will become the overall winners of the contest, receiving a coveted Le Tour de France green jersey as well as entry into the 2018 L’Étape du Tour, including three nights’ accommodation, bike hire and a place in the first wave of the day. The fastest male and female rider from the Medium and Short distances will each receive an official Le Tour de France green jersey. The ‘young rider’ classification will see the fastest man and woman under the age of 26 in each distance win a Le Tour de France white jersey.
The intermediate sprints, sprint finish and green jersey classification at TP ICAP L’Étape London are designed to give riders the chance to feel like a Tour de France legend for the day. A départ fictif and a départ réel, riding on sections of road that featured in Stage 3 of the 2014 Tour, moto marshalls, red Tour de France Skodas, Tour de France style rider numbers, Tour de France signage, a Tour de France finish podium experience, and a Tour de France photo expo in the event village, will all add to a memorable experience unavailable at any other sportive in the UK. Frequent feed stations as well as free wine and cheese at the finish line will keep cyclists going during and after their ride.
Closed-road sections of the course mean that participant numbers at TP ICAP L’Étape London by Le Tour de France will be strictly limited. Cyclists wishing to secure a place should enter without delay at www.letapeuk.com.