Organisers of the Tour de France, the Amoury Sport Organisation (ASO), have launched a new cyclo-sportive for 2007. The first L'Etape de Legende will run from Strasbourg to the Ballon d'Alsace and takes place on September 23.

The Ballon d'Alsace, in the Les Vosges mountain range in eastern France, was the first mountain the Tour went over back in 1905. René Pottier was the first rider to crest the 1,178 metre summit. He quit the race the following day, but came back to win the Tour the following year.

The new event will allow for 8,500 entrants. More details will be released soon.

L'Etape itself will be held on Monday, July 16 over the parcours of the Foix - Loudenvielle stage of this years race. The 202km route in the Pyrenees takes in the Col de Port (1,249m), the Col de Portet d'Aspet (1,069m), the Col de Menté (1,349m), the Col du Port de Balés (1,755m) and the Col de Peyresourde (1,569m).

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Editor of Cycling Weekly magazine, Simon has been working at the title since 2001. He fell in love with cycling when channel surfing in 1989 and happening across the greatest ever edition of the Tour de France. He's been a Greg LeMond fan ever since. He started racing in 1995 when moving to university in North Wales gave him more time to train and some amazing roads to train on. He raced domestically for several years, riding everything from Surrey leagues to time trials, track and even a few Premier Calendars. In 2000 he spent one season racing in Belgium with the Kingsnorth International Wheelers. 


Since working for Cycling Weekly 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 can still be seen at his club's evening races through the summer but he still hasn't completed the CW5000 challenge!


SIMON IS CURRENTLY RIDING

Road bike: Pinarello K8S with Shimano Dura Ace

TT bike: Specialized Venge road bike with FFWD wheels and Easton Attack TT bars

Gravel bike: N/A

Training bike: Rourke custom hand made with Reynolds 853 steel