L'ETAPE CZECH REPUBLIC 2024: MOUNTAIN CHALLENGE DURING THE SUMMER HOLIDAYS AND NEW PASSAGES IN THE TRADITIONAL TIME
The organisers of L'Etape Czech Republic by Tour de France have prepared significant news and especially new challenges for the fourth edition of the race. The largest domestic event for amateur cyclists will open registration for 2024 in the coming days and road bike lovers who have been enchanted by the atmosphere of the event under the patronage of the Tour de France certainly have something to look forward to.
"We will be running the traditional event on the classic date, a hilly race in Central Bohemia with a start in Prague on 15 June. However, in the second half of the holiday season, namely on 17 August 2024, we have a novelty in the form of a mountain stage!" Tomáš Pravenec, director of the organizing agency Petr Čech Sport, outlines the basic information.
And what will the routes of L'Etape Czech Republic 2024 look like? "We will start with the popular event with a start at Prague's Strahov, from which cyclists will again set off on three route options. However, we will visit new terrains on all of them, and we will change the individual routes substantially. It won't be a 100% correction, but we will definitely prepare new variants and introduce new places for all sports enthusiasts," says Přemysl Novák, head of the L'Etape Czech Republic by Tour de France project and reveals more about the upcoming August news. "During the event, the climbers will be especially pleased. It will be a mountain stage, which will have about 2,500 vertical metres and a maximum length of one hundred and ten kilometres. The location and the exact shape of the route will be announced during November. I can reveal that it is a beautiful location in a border area."
The speed averages for the June classic will remain the same, with the addition of a women-only limit on the Long Route. For the Long Route, the limits will be set at 28 kilometres per hour for men and 26 kilometres for women. 22 kilometres per hour for the Medium Route and 18 kilometres per hour for the Short Route. For the Mountain Stage, the average speed will be between 20 and 22 kilometres per hour. "We don't want to give the mountain variant of the race to only a select few. We are all about sharing the experience. The average will be set so that the route can be completed by a person who does not have the space to train sixteen hours a week," explains Přemysl Novák, adding that the capacity of the Mountain Stage will be one thousand cyclists on its debut. "I honestly expect that a thousand people will take their places in a few weeks. We have verified what a phenomenon road cycling is and what enthusiasm it arouses among riders and fans. A mountain stage, which will once again bring amateur riders a little closer to the experience of the Grand Tour, has been a long-time dream of ours and I'm happy that it will already become a reality for 2024."
The traditional June event L'Etape Czech Republic 2024 will also have a clear limit on the number of participants. The Long Route can accommodate up to 1,000 cyclists, the Medium Route a maximum of 1,500 competitors and the Short Route 1,000 starters. The maximum capacity will thus be fixed at 3,500 participants and the organisers also guarantee that the number of participants will not increase. "With the current arrangement, we have assessed 3500 participants as the absolute maximum possible. Rather than increasing the number of cyclists, we will work on the schedule and itinerary to ensure that the connection of the Short Route to the Medium and Long Routes respectively is seamless and completely smooth. And if the number of registered riders on the Middle Route exceeds 1,000, we will solve the problem of starting in two waves," emphasizes Přemysl Novák, who expects the biggest overflow of participants between the two longest variants compared to the just finished 2023 edition. "The third edition showed that many cyclists from the Central Route were in great shape. We believe it will be a challenge for them to prepare for the Long Route, which will be slightly shortened and the number of vertical metres will be slightly reduced."
Great attention will also be paid again to the shortest route, which confirmed the organisers' expectations during the first edition. "The short route acted as an attraction for new road cycling enthusiasts and also women, over twenty percent of whom were on the shortest distance. We will of course continue this set trend. We want to offer the experience of the unique atmosphere of the race also to people for whom cycling is more or less just a weekend affair," explains Přemysl Novák the philosophy of the whole event.
In the first wave of sales for the new edition, members of the Founders Club L'Etape Czech Republic and participants of this year's event will be able to apply under extremely favourable conditions. The next registration wave will be launched during the Tour de France, under whose patronage the largest domestic race for hobby road cyclists takes place.