Curtis and Amelia Trkulja still can’t quite believe that Australia’s Tour de France event is going to come by the top of their street.
Thanks to Kiama Council paying their entry fees, the talented pair will be riding in the event with their heroes.
“It is going to be really exciting to ride beside Amanda Spratt,” says Amelia.
Curtis is looking forward to being around the elite Australian road teams he looks up to.
“It’s going to be awesome!”
The pair have been track and road cycling competitively since Curtis was six and Amelia was ten, and have been successful in gaining Illawarra Academy of Sport Cycling Scholarships every year since they qualified at 13. She is now 16 and he’s 15.
They have won or were placed in too many state and national events to mention, and have already shown the talent and dedication to realise their goals of representing Australia one day.
The official route for the grueling 135 km race, which features 2,770m of elevation, has recently been released, and registrations are now open.
Starting in Kiama, the race will travel along the coast to Shoalhaven Heads, then west to Berry, Kangaroo Valley and Fitzroy Falls, before heading back to Kiama via Robertson, Jamberoo and Saddleback Mountain.
Florent Malézieux, L’Étape Australia Race Director, says, “The course is compact and challenging, perfect for experienced riders who want to push themselves or for riders who recently took up cycling and want to set themselves a late year challenge.”
“Getting to race on the roads we train on most dayswill be amazing,” says Amelia.
“It will be a great not having to worry about cars.”
While she is the better on the flats, Curtis is a hill climb fanatic.
“I love climbing up Berry Mountain and Barrengary,” he says.
“Local knowledge will definitely help on the climbs, as I’ll know where to pace myself and where to really go hard.”
The route for an 80km ride – an abridged version of the race with just one of the three climbs – will be released shortly.
L’Étape Australia by Tour de France will be held on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 November. It will be an important event to support the region’s recovery from bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic by attracting overnight visitors who will spend with local businesses.
The race will be covered on SBS and is expected to attract worldwide attention.