MANCHESTER, UK, April 19, 2018 – Cyclo sportives and Gran Fondos are lengthy, challenging, mass participation cycling events that follow the same routes conquered by professional racers. Participating in one provides the opportunity to ride on some of the most notable and legendary climbs and descents in competitive cycling history.
Sports Tours International (https://www.sportstoursinternational.co.uk/) offers travel and support packages to ride in a wide variety of the world’s finest cyclo sportive and Gran Fondo events. They secure entries for many annually over-subscribed events including perennial favorites such as La Marmotte, Maratona d les Dolomites and L’ Etape du Tour. These are also quite popular with North Americans looking to combine a cycling event with a European vacation.
L'Étape du Tour 2018 on July 8 is the only cyclo sportive that allows amateur riders to test themselves on closed roads on the exact same route as a Tour de France stage. It is almost always in the Pyrenees or the Alps and often falls on a Tour rest day so it makes a great highlight in any trip to follow Tour de France’s mountain stages. L'Étape du Tour 2018 takes in stage 10 of the Tour de France, Annecy to Le Grand Bornand in the Alps. Riding out from Lake Annecy will be 15,000 cyclists on a 169km route that takes in Col de la Croix Fry, Col de Romme and an unusual gravel section. The finish is at Le Grand-Bornand, a resort in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in southeastern France.
Riders and guests will enjoy a festival of cycling over the weekend in Annecy, an alpine town known for canals and cobbled streets. Sports Tours International’s L'Étape du Tour2018 four-day/three-night tour package includes guaranteed entry. The company is one of only a handful of operators who can guarantee entry to the event. The package includes accommodations at a range of hotels, round trip airport transfers from Geneva, overland bike transfer, bike rental and storage, complimentary coach accommodations for traveling companions to witness the excitement, three breakfasts, and, depending on the hotel, three dinners, staff support along the race course and more. Per person, double occupancy rates begin at £549and go up to £699 for four-star accommodations. Self-drive packages are also available. While guaranteed, an additional cost is the actual entry fee to L'Étape du Tour2018. For non-riders, a free coach from Annecy to the finish in Le Grand Bornand is offered with return to Annecy later in the day. See: https://www.sportstoursinternational.co.uk/event-categories/etape-du-tour/
La Marmotte Gran Fondo (French) Alps also on July 8 is an extremely tough event for the 8,500 riders. This is a 170km alpine climbing bonanza between Bourg d’Oisans and Alpe d’Huez with 5,000m of climbing. The event does not take place on closed roads but there are rolling road closures. The Marmotte is a firm favorite for foreign riders with the field containing just 20% French riders. There are no cut off points enroute. Packages similar to L'Étape du Tour2018 are available. See: https://www.sportstoursinternational.co.uk/events/la-marmotte/
2018 Maratona dles Dolomites on July 1 exemplifies closed road Italian Gran Fondo riding at its very best. This event with 8,500 riders is one of the toughest cycling events around, tough not for distance (138km) but for the amount of climbing packed into the route. The climbs are steeper, in general, than both the Alps and Pyrenees! Participants and guests lodge in the Alta Badia area for seven or four nights. Most hotels are on a half board basis with breakfasts and dinners included. Some have spa and wellness facilities.Packages similar to L'Étape du Tour2018 are available. See https://www.sportstoursinternational.co.uk/events/maratona-dles-dolomites/
Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 on July 29 forms part of the London 2012 Olympics legacy events for cycling. This is an opportunity to cycle on closed roads around London’s many landmarks and into the county of Surrey. Most importantly for cyclo sportive riders is riding a route that replicates much of the 2012 Olympics Road Race course. Some 20,000 riders are anticipated. The new Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 46-mile distance event takes place on the same day as the 100, setting off after all the “100” riders have departed. This is ideal for those wanting the RideLondon experience, without the stress of riding 100 miles. Climbs on Leith Hill and Box Hill on this ride aren’t meant to replicate the exertion it takes to climb in the Alps. The race returns to Central London for a finish on The Mall. Later in the afternoon there will also be a Pro cycling event. Packages similar to L'Étape du Tour2018 are available. See: https://www.sportstoursinternational.co.uk/events/ridelondon/.
Sports Tours International is Europe’s leading specialist in sports travel. Since inception in 1973 they have hosted thousands of participants and spectators at major sporting events worldwide. With the tagline, Fanatical about Sport, the company’s initial roots came from a devotion to running when founder Vince Regan began taking runners to the NYC Marathon. Since the early 2000s, the company now embraces international cycling events and triathlon competitions, sports training camps and corporate hospitality.
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