L’Etape du Tour has pissed-off virtually all 15,000 registered riders after announcing a devilish refund policy for the cancelled 4 July amateur L’Etape du Tour by Tour de France race in Nice, France.
Refunds will not be issued until 2022. Instead, riders will receive a voucher in July which they can use to sign up for more L’Etape races (without guaranteed entry in the 2021 L’Etape du Tour) for the next 18 months or wait for a refund in 2022.
“Following the cancellation of the L’Etape du Tour de France, you will benefit from a voucher with a value equivalent to what you spent on the bib and additional options. You can use this voucher to sign up for more A.S.O. events over a period of 18 months, after which, any unspent funds on the voucher will be refunded to you,” L’Etape du Tour France/ASO announced on social media.
Upon learning L’Etape is keeping € 1.5m in registration fees till 2022, hundreds of riders took to Twitter to vent their frustration.
Mike Prytherch wrote, “It is disgusting they are not giving refund, they are holding onto my cash for 18 months, of course it is not their fault it had to be cancelled, but it is their fault for not having insurance to cover costs and being able to give a refund, my insurance won’t pay out because they offer a voucher, yet again the big company is allowed to keep all the money (that isn’t being spent on event) and I’m out of pocket.”
Valérian Cz offered, “SCANDALEUX! It’s already been 9 months since we paid 120 € for NOTHING and we have to wait 18 months more to be reimbursed !! First and last time that I register for one of your ASO events, you are thieves.”
Richard Bonnabel wasted no words, “Gang of crooks you have to pay back !!!”
Simon Cannell offered a simple solution, “Just transfer the bookings for this year onto next year. Job done, no complaints, no additional hassle having to rebook or miss out in the lottery. For those that don’t want this they can have the vouchers or a refund. Stop making it complicated.”
L’Etape du Tour is not the first big event to keep registration fees after cancelling a race due to the pandemic. Velo Birmingham in the UK, GFNY World Championship in USA and the UCI Gran Fondo World Championship in Canada all announced they are not issuing refunds after cancellation.