STA, 28 September 2021 - In addition to the traditional Franja cycling marathon, Slovenian amateur cyclists will have a shot at a Tour de France-like experience next year as the L'Etape du Tour event is staged in Slovenia's Kranj next September. The pinnacle of the festivities in and around the city will be a 70-kilometre and a 120-kilometre race.
L'Etape du Tour allows amateur cyclists to race over the same route as a Tour de France stage, while international events are also held annually in various countries around the world.
The first L'Etape Slovenia by Tour de France will be held in Kranj on 3 and 4 September 2022. In addition to the main two races, it will feature events for the youngest participants, school children, families and the elderly.
Aleš Hostnik of the organisers has told the STA that the longer route, which has 2,000m of cumulative elevation gain, will run through the places of birth of Slovenian cycling stars Tadej Pogačar (Komenda) and Matej Mohorič (Podblica).
"The amateur Tour de France events involve 24 cities in 21 countries and Slovenia is now a part of this story," he said, while Kranj Mayor Matjaž Rakovec added that "we are very happy that Kranj will host this event."
"This is an excellent opportunity for us and the neighbouring municipalities to present ourselves to the world," Rakovec said, pointing to the long cycling tradition in Kranj, where many Slovenian stars have trained.
Mohorič, who is an ambassador of the event, said that Kranj was a city of sport and a cycling destination. "The roads around here are the most beautiful ones that I've ever seen. This event is a great opportunity for the city."
Local cycling veteran Franc Hvasti promises that the event will be well organised. "We've had a long tradition of cycling events here ... including all three stages of the Giro d'Italia that were hosted in Slovenia," he said.
On behalf of the French organisers, Kevin Quinion said that this was a nice opportunity for amateur cyclists to feel the vibe of the Tour de France. "This is what we do around the world and I'm happy that we can share this experience with people."
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