Our hills will be alive with cyclists

Matt Keenan and Amanda Spratt are amongst the first cyclists who have come down to check out the conditions in Kiama

2020 is going to be a big year for cycling in our area, with the Tour de France’s L’Etape Australia event being held here on 27-28 November.

Early Bird tickets for the L’Etape Australia cycling Race are on sale until Christmas Eve. While the precise route of the race is still to be revealed, we do know the event hub (the start, the finish and the village) will
be located in Kiama.

The 138 km long course will go through Berry and Kangaroo Valley, through the Southern Highland region, and back via Jamberoo. Three climbs will be on the route, requiring 2,700 metres of elevation.

Riders will be competing for the Tour de France’s distinctive Yellow, Polka Dot and White jerseys. There will also be team prizes.

A slightly less daunting Ride course will also be available, with details not being released until May.

A total of at least 6,000 riders, competing in the Race or the Ride, and 4,200 supporters are expected to travel to Kiama for the event.

Des Howley of Kiama Cycle & Sports says that the event will be great for bringing visitors to town, although he isn’t expecting a bonanza for his business.

“We might be able to help visitors with some supplies, but they will bring their gear with them.

“People doing the race will take it very seriously, and we’ll have even more people coming down to train on our mountains.”

Once he would have entered, but those days are now behind him.

“There are a small number of hard core cyclists around here that are going to love it. I can’t see many social cyclists taking up the challenge.”

Given the hills around here, e-bikes are now his most popular product.
Unfortunately, e-bikes are not allowed in the event.

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