One of the world’s most popular and renowned fondos—L’Etape du Tour—is coming stateside for a pair of events in San Antonio and Las Vegas in April and May.

The Texas iteration will take place on Sunday, April 16 and will include 100-mile, 60-mile, 25-mile, and family and kids ride options, starting in northwest San Antonio before heading out into Texas’s famous hill country on fully and partially closed roads. Riders looking to test their mettle against the best around can sign up to race the 100-mile route, which boasts 5,400 feet of climbing. Meanwhile, the 60-mile route features 3,000 vertical feet, while the 25 will see riders climbing almost 900 feet.

A few weeks later, on May 7, 2023, L’Etape will head to Las Vegas, Nevada, where riders can choose from routes of 75, 45, 25, or 10 miles, as well as a kids race. The hundred-milers have nearly 6,500-feet of climbing to look forward to, with 3,000 and 2,000 vertical feet awaiting the 45 and 25-mile riders, respectively.

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L’Etape du Tour was started in 1993, in an effort to give amateur riders a taste of what a Tour de France stage really feels like. Each July, on a Tour rest day, as many as 15,000 cyclists gather to ride what is usually considered the Tour’s toughest stage (normally an Alpine or Pyrenean climb). Some riders race. Most just grit their teeth and try to finish.

Interest in L’Etape has been so massive, the company behind the sportive and the Tour itself, Amaury Sport Organisation, has expanded the events over the last few decades, now hosting L’Etape fondos in nearly twenty nations around the world.

Headshot of Michael Venutolo-Mantovani
Michael Venutolo-Mantovani

Michael Venutolo-Mantovani is a writer and musician based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He loves road and track cycling, likes gravel riding, and can often be found trying to avoid crashing his mountain bike.