For the first time in history, Spain hosted an edition of the prestigious L’Étape by Tour de France and ushered in a return of the worldwide gran fondo series to the European continent after a two year pandemic pause.
L’Etape Madrid was hosted by two of the greatest Spanish cyclists, five times Tour de France champion Miguel Indurain and 2006 Tour de France champion Óscar Pereiro. Also at the event to cheer riders up the climbs was the Didi, the charismatic and photogenic red devil who runs alongside the world’s best cyclists at Le Tour every summer.
The event on Saturday 24 July was held under established Spanish government Covid protocols, with safety measures such as temperature checks, social distancing and mandatory masks at the start/finish in Villanueva del Pardillo.
The gran fondo route covered 162 kilometres and 2977 metres of vertical gain in the Sierra Nevada mountains, where Spanish rider Elias Diaz launched a solo attach to finish in 5:03:20 with an average speed of 32.7kph and earn first place.
Jose Miguel González Domínguez won the 114 kilometre Medio Fondo event in 3:54:51 at an average speed of 30.1 kmh.
PHOTOS: L’Etape Madrid