The first Virtual L’Etape gran fondo stage race concluded this past weekend with the third and final stage, the daunting 19km 1480m vertical climb from Bedoin to the top of Mont Ventoux on Zwift’s brand new “Ven-Top” course.
It was a chance for pure climbers to shine and shake up the overall standings.
In the men’s competition it was a duel between GC leader Emmanuel Lejeune and Austrian Stefan Kirchmair. With only 53 seconds separating them at the start, Kirchmair was determined give it his best shot and leave everything on the road to Ventoux. By the summit he had clawed back 12 seconds, but was still 41 seconds shy of overtaking Lejeune.
Canadian Frank Sobara moved into 3rd overall with most of the top 10 GC riders faltering and falling out of contention.
American Jacquie Godbe continued her dominating performance by not only winning the overall GC, but also adding to her lead by winning the stage. Kristen K moved from 6th to 2nd overall, knocking Evelyn Herrera onto the bottom podium step.
Over 36,000 amateur cyclists participated in the Virtual L’Etape du Tour races held over 3 weekends in July.
The real world “on-the-road” L’Etape du Tour gran fondo race for amateur cyclists will take place 6 September in Nice alongside the Tour de France.
It follows the same route as Stage 2 of Le Tour, starting and finishing in Nice. Participants will race over a 177km course along the Mediterranean Sea and climb 3570 meters in the Alpes Maritimes range.