The worldwide L’Etape by Tour de France gran fondo series began the 2023 season in Cuenca, Ecuador at L’Etape Ecuador with William Tobay, 3x National MTB Champion, winning the 142 kilometers long amateur race.

The 26 year-old, who finished eighth last year, completed the route in 3:35:35 after defeating Juan Carlos Cordova in the final sprint. Beto Gonzalez was third.

In the last 20 kilometers, the race was dominated by Tobay and Cordova, who attacked the front group, worked in unison to build a time gap and arrived at the finish together, where victory was decided with a sprint.

The event opened the competitive season for Tobay who said, “It is the first competition, but we feel comfortable with what was shown. What happened today, we will evaluate it with my coach David Magán and we will clean up what happened.”

Two weeks later Tobay finish eleventh at the Ecuadorian National Road Championship, won by Olympic Champion Richard Carapaz, and now plans to compete in the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile.

L’Etape Ecuador brought together over 1400 amateur cyclists from across South America.

Mexico will host the next L’Etape by Tour de France event, L’Etape La Paz, on 26 February.

Photos: L’Etape Ecuador