French cycling event L'Etape hits Changsha
L'Etape China by Le Tour de France - a scenic long-distance cycling route through Wangcheng district – made its debut in Changsha, Hunan province, on Sept 10.
More than 3,000 cycling enthusiasts from across the county took part in the one-day race, divided into three categories – 131-kilometer grand race, 83-kilometer race and 50-kilometer ride.
In order to inherit L'Étape's original intention and tradition, a long-distance track completely closed to public traffic is ensured, creating an atmosphere of a professional cycling race, and facilitating those amateurs to experience for themselves what it is like to ride in the Tour de France.
"Le Tour de France" has an undeniable appeal to us cyclists," said Zeng Fagui, a competitor from East China's Jiangxi province. "We riders signed up for the event as soon as we heard about it kicking off in Wangcheng district of Changsha."
L'Étape is not only a sporting arena, but also a tourist adventure on the bike. Competitors were also able to appreciate the charming views of the city of Tongguan, Jinggang, and Qiaokou ancient towns on the bike while experiencing the unique atmosphere of Le Tour de France.
More than 3,000 cycling enthusiasts from across the county take part in L'Etape China by Le Tour de France in Changsha, Hunan province, on Sept 10. [Photo by Yu Shaojie/icswb.com]
Sponsored by Hunan Provincial Sports Bureau and Changsha government, the challenge selects some classic cycling routes, both flat and twisted, facilitating riders to feel the profound cultural heritage of the Hunan province capital.
Paul, an Australian rider who currently works in Shanghai, when asked about the impression the host city left on him, said "it's beautiful".
He said that he also applied for the 131-kilometer grand race to explore the landscape along the route.
The event was really well organized, commented Consul General Olivier Guyonvarch at the Consulate General of France, who attended the opening ceremony held in Changsha.
A cyclist gives thumbs up during the tourist adventure on the bike. [Photo by Yu Shaojie/icswb.com]
Guyonvarch said he was very pleased to see such a large number of Chinese athletes joining the sporting event that originates from France. L'Etape China by Le Tour de France will be conducive to boost cultural exchanges between France and China.
Competitors who took home the championships in the 131-kilometer race can get direct access to France for the 2018 Le Tour de France, Changsha Evening News reported.
Source: Changsha Evening News