L’Etape by Tour de France makes its Irish debut in Killarney

By We Love Cycling

The Tour de France, a name that evokes a sense of awe and excitement among cycling enthusiasts worldwide, is set to bring its renowned L’Etape event to the shores of Ireland this coming September.

This marks a historic moment as up to 3,000 cyclists will have the unique opportunity to experience the thrills and challenges of a Tour de France stage on Irish soil. The event, designed by the team behind the Tour de France itself, promises two routes that will showcase some of the country’s most stunning landscapes and epic climbs, all starting from the scenic town of Killarney in Co. Kerry.

Two routes, one unforgettable experience

L’Etape Ireland, which is the 32nd race added to the global calendar, takes place on September 7th, 2024. This addition was announced with much excitement alongside race ambassadors and notable Irish cyclists, including Škoda Ireland ambassador Imogen Cotter.

Participants will be faced with a choice between two meticulously planned routes, each varying in elevation and distance to cater to different levels of cycling proficiency. The options include a 98km route for those seeking a robust ride through the Kerry scenery and a more challenging 135km route that will test the endurance and skill of even the most seasoned cyclists.


The challenge of the mountains

Inspired by the spirit of the Tour de France, both routes feature three timed mountain stages, offering cyclists the chance to traverse the climbs across Molls Gap, Ballaghbearna Pass and Caragh Lake.

These segments are not just about enduring the climb but also competing for the prestigious title of King and Queen of the mountain and the coveted polka dot jersey. Additionally, there’s a sprint section for those aiming to claim the Tour de France green jersey, adding a competitive edge to the experience.

Beyond the race

Beyond the physical challenge of the race, L’Etape Ireland is set to be a real celebration of cycling culture. Participants and spectators alike can look forward to an array of activities, including exhibitors, shows and even a pop-up Tour de France Museum.

L’Etape also stands out for its accessibility to cyclists of various skill levels. As race director Oliver Kirwan from Elite Events Management says, “L’Etape is special in that you don’t need years of training to participate and live your dream of taking on a Tour de France stage.” This sentiment is echoed by the CEO of Cycling Ireland, James Quilligan, who highlights the event as a brilliant opportunity for cyclists, especially leisure riders, to get involved in something truly special.

Get registered

Those eager to be a part of this landmark event are encouraged to register for early access to sign-ups at the official L’Etape Ireland website here. There are three sign up packages to choose from for each race – Bronze, Silver and Gold VIP, with more details on the website.

Whether you’re in it for the challenge, the views, or the chance to rub shoulders with cycling royalty, L’Etape Ireland promises an unforgettable adventure on the wheels this September!

If you need a recap on what happened in the Tour de France 2023, be sure to take a look at our overview of the 110th edition of the famed race!