For some people the Etape is a training event!
97% of us train hard for the Etape, and for us it is an incredible acheivement - but the other 3% then continue to tackle even greater challenges!

Kevin and Catherine have both been independently been selected to take part in the World Iron Man Championships in Hawaii this year. Kevin is also planning to offer cycling holidays in the United Arab Emerates on this web site next year.

Here is Catherine in action in the qualifying event for the World Triathalon Championships!

The Iron Man event involves swimming 2.4 mile, then cycling 112 miles. After that you run a marathon! I'm impressed! I'm sure you will join me in wishing both Kev and Catherine every success in this great challenge.

Chris wrote: "I think it was one of the most exhilirating sporting expeiences I've ever had, the stretch between the Aubisque and Col du Soulor was absolutely stunning. The support on the course was fantastic and the vans parked on the mountains made it feel like we were actually doing the Tour itself. I managed to get round in 9 hours and 2 minutes - I'm sure I would have beaten 9 hours if it wasn't for the last two little (?) climbs and the nasty climb up to the finish!"

David Clarke wrote: "Well I did it in 9 hrs 53, I got held up on the first two climbs by the volume of riders but I honestly don't think it made that much difference to my time .The Aubisque was brutal in the heat by the time I got there and those two "little bumps" near the end! All in all it was an amazing experience, much tougher than I thought but all the more worthwhile. Hats off to you guys that put in good time. Thinking seriously about doing it again next year...confidence is growing everyday as the memory of the pain dies away."

Phil completed the Etape against the odds - he wrote "This was my first Etape, starting from a zero base without a bike and I was delighted to make it around in just under nine hours – especially as I managed to fall off my bike on the way to registration the day before and (unknowingly) break my wrist! As you can imagine, the descents were rather interesting without the use of a front brake!"

Brian achieved a Gold Medal – despite starting at the back! With a dossard number 7845, Brian had more than to contend with than most of us. Gordon took this photo of him climbing the final hill up to Place de Verdun in Pau.



How did he do it? Brian wrote:

“I managed to get the gold standard time, with strong climbing at the start, and then just hanging on to a fast moving group in the descent.
…. The Snowdonia training event was particularly memorable…. In fact I am so pleased with the whole thing that I would like to do it again next year.” Brian completed the course in an amazing 6hrs 27 minutes!

The most amazing acheivement: Hans wrote:

The most amazing story I heard was from Kate who whilst waiting for me on the finishing line saw a guy with one arm come in ahead of me. I could hardly believe it was possible to do the stage with one arm - let alone in about 7hrs30mins. Then I heard the rest of the story - he fell on the final climb and broke his artificial arm, which I assume he left behind. But what Kate failed to notice is he also had an artificial leg. Makes you feel very humble !

Like many of us, Peter was caught in the traffic jam. He wrote:

"Thanks for the advice on elimination times before the event ....came in VERY handy whilst being forced to walk up the Marie Blanque bypassing the food stop on Plateau Benou and putting a spurt on, I managed to avoid elimination in Laruns and complete the ride ... a wonderful experience ....I'll always remember the reception and encouragement from the crowds at the top of Soulor....magical."