Over 500 expected for L’ Étape cycle race

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More than 500 athletes and support staff are expected to participate in the highly anticipated cycle race L’ Étape Cyprus by Tour de France in November.

The Cypriot edition of the L’ Étape by Tour de France series -held under the strict and demanding framework of the greatest cycling event on the planet- will take place on 12 November, with semi-professional and amateur cyclists.

“Based on the initial entries, and considering the increased participation of Cypriot cyclists expected this year, it is predicted that hotels in the Paphos and Limassol regions will benefit from 2,100 overnight stays during the event.

“This is a particularly significant number, in the off-peak tourism season, which is proof of the importance of organising major sporting events in Cyprus,” organisers said.

Sports tourism contributes over €50 mln annually to the economy.

Michalis Metaxas, Director of Tourism, said: “The international cycling event contributes significantly to the positioning of Cyprus on the map of international cycling road races and the recognition of our country as a cycling destination”.

He said sports tourism is a priority for the Deputy Ministry of Tourism based, and cycling, in particular, is included as a priority sport for Cyprus.

Cyprus is one of the 22 countries that host an L’ Étape by Tour de France race.

Tour de France Director Christian Prudhomme said: “Having a L’Étape by Tour de France event in Cyprus makes a lot of sense.

“First, it looks like a perfect destination for cycling enthusiasts with great routes suited to all kinds of riders and amazing landscapes and infrastructures.

“Second, we know that cycling is currently booming on the island, and the event will offer the ultimate challenge for all local riders and hopefully pave the way to the future participation of a Cypriot rider in the professional Tour de France.”

The start and finish of L’ Étape Cyprus will be at Aphrodite Hills in Paphos.

The event encompasses two routes.

“The Race” is 136 km long with 3000 meters of elevation, and “The Ride” is 62 km long with 1300 meters of elevation.

Several villages of the mountainous Paphos and Limassol regions are on the route, including Kouklia, Pachna, Platres, Dora, Omodos, Anogyra, and Pissouri.

Registration for “The Race” and “The Ride” has started, with costs starting from €79, while accommodation packages are also available.