etape du tour

While the riders of the Tour de France enjoy a rest day in Tignes - a rare chance to enjoy a leisurely breakfast and catch up with family and friends - 8,000 cyclo-sportive riders will today be experiencing a taste of the pain and suffering they usually endure.

It's the 15th Etape du Tour and this year's route will take them from Foix - Cassoulet capital of France - to Loudenvielle, which was last visited by the Tour in 2003, when Gilberto Simon won the stage.

Among the starters will be 1,319 Brits - including hundreds of Cycling Weekly readers. British Cycling supremo David Brailsford and a group of his fellow coaches will be among them

The 196km route will take them over five cols - the Col de Port, Portet d'Aspet, Col de Mente, Port de Bales and Col de Peyresourde.

It's a course every bit as tough as last year's from Gap to Alpe d'Huez.

Also on the start list are three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond - one of 163 Americans who have entered, plus for world champion Abraham Olano of Spain. Last year's 'winner', Frenchman Blaise Sonnery - now a professional with Ag2r - is also riding.

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Simon Richardson
Magazine editor

Editor of Cycling Weekly magazine, Simon has been working at the title since 2001. He fell in love with cycling 1989 when watching the Tour de France on Channel 4, started racing in 1995 and in 2000 he spent one season racing in Belgium. During his time at CW (and Cycle Sport magazine) he has written product reviews, fitness features, pro interviews, race coverage and news. He has covered the Tour de France more times than he can remember along with two Olympic Games and many other international and UK domestic races. He became the 130-year-old magazine's 13th editor in 2015.