Rapha and L’Etape du Tour
A chance to emulate your cycling heroes and push your physical limits, the Etape du Tour is one of the greatest sportives in the world. As the pros take on the same stage this weekend, we recap the 2019 event and explain why it’s best when ridden with the Rapha Cycling Club.02 June 2019
From the moment you arrive to long after you’ve crossed the finish line, a dedicated Rapha Cycling Club team is on the ground at the Etape to take the strain and help members focus on the task at hand.
Click below to find out more about the three aspects of the Etape weekend our members enjoy most. Or, to discover just how invaluable RCC membership is at the Etape, keep scrolling for a full round up of all our activities throughout a sunny weekend in the Savoie.
THE ETAPE WEEKEND
A full account of the weekend from a Rapha Cycling Club member and now proud finisher of the Etape du Tour.
Arrive at the Etape village. Head straight to sign in as a member with Rapha. Don’t worry, the tent and member’s area is easy to spot with its huge balloon.
Met some new friends from far flung RCC Chapters and discussed the route for Sunday.
Early start for the RCC warm up ride. No need to stress about the route, all in the capable hands of my ride leader. Ended up on a great 45-kilometre route up the quiet Col de Tamié.
Cafe stop on the route and a great chance to speak to clubmates from beyond my local Chapter. Plus, a coffee on the house for good measure.
Back at the event village and it’s time to pick my race number up. Easy to find, just a short walk from the Rapha tent. Wondering where I stored my bike? There’s secure bike storage on site and, with an RCC wristband, I can skip the queue and save some time.
Hotfooted it back to Rapha in time for an exclusive event in the RCC member’s area: hints and tips from CANYON//SRAM aces Alexis Ryan and Alice Barnes. They weren’t the only pros either, you never know who you might see here.
Now, time for a little self-indulgence. I want to make sure I’m ready for tomorrow and, with a team of massage therapists on hand in the members’ area, it would be rude not to.
For a special ride, a special jersey is in order. Though many people stopped by the stand to look at the RCC Etape Jersey, they’re only available to members. I’ll be recognisable on the road.
There’s time to watch today’s stage of the Tour. It’s shown live from Rapha’s Mobile Clubhouse and there’s top grade coffee on offer too.
One last thing to do on Saturday before resting up. Leave a bag of spare clothes with the RCC with the provided name tag attached and they’ll take it to the finish line, ready for when you need it most.
After an amazing day on the bike, the finish line has finally hoved into sight. What awaits the other side? The warmest welcome possible, courtesy of the RCC.
Just a short walk from the finish line, the RCC area awaits. RCC staff guide you there, take your bike and hang it on the bike stand. All you have to do is keep walking until you find a chair into which you can collapse.
Top priority, food and plenty of it. Outside the Mobile Clubhouse there’s a selection of freshly prepared food, lots of it savoury. The perfect antidote to sugary sportive gels and bars.
Now for another massage. It’s easy to book a spot and easier still to fall asleep on the massage table. Nothing like a cold beer to wake you up though.
Time is ticking on and it’s time to get off the mountain. Whether you’re wrapping up and riding back to the hotel or getting a shuttle bus, the RCC will help you get there. What a weekend it’s been, with friendships forged and memories made.
THE ETAPE COLLECTION
Inspired by the cols and designed to conquer them, the Etape collection consists of lightweight clothing that’s comfortable on hot days in the mountains.
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