Cycling commentator (and Total Women’s Cycling Awards host!) Anthony McCrossan hosted a discussion earlier this week on cycling at the Houses of Parliament to celebrate the launch of the new Etape Suisse.
Anthony was joined by Commonwealth Games Champion and Team Wiggle Honda manager Rochelle Gilmore, Robert Simpson of Etape Suisse, and Matt Adams of Human Race, who organise the popular Cycletta series.
Rochelle shared the story of how she got the incredibly successful and game-changing Wiggle Honda team off the ground, securing sponsorship, developing a team of cycling champions, and furthering professional women’s cycling in innovative ways.
Robert talked about the different approach organisers of the Etape Suisse had taken in organising the event, working with partners such as SwissAir and BMC to develop an event that would appeal to a wide range of riders. He also talked about the events charity partner, the Laureus Foundation, which uses sport as a tool for social change globally.
Also commenting on the growth of women’s cycling and the evolution of Cycletta, the women’s only sportive series, was Matt Adams of Human Race, who are involved on the sponsorship side of things.
The new Etape Suisse event, which runs from the 5th to the 8th of September in Davos, Switzerland, aims to be a very different type of cycling event. There will of course be road cycling, of the wonderfully scenic, smooth road variety. You can also expect luxury accommodation, food, drink, mechanical support – in fact everything you’d want and need from a fully supported event.
With 150km of cycling with a rather large 3,000m of climbing, you’ll need to be fit to take it on, riding either your own trusty steed or trying one of the 2015 BMC machines that will be available to use. If you find yourself flagging by the last hill, you could also sneakily hop on one of the electric bikes that will be on hand for the final climb.
There will also be a whole lot more going on, and it’s these other elements that go towards making this a different kind of event.
“It’s not the hardest, it’s not the toughest, it’s not the longest. But it is the most joyous, the most fun, and the most inclusive event we could develop, for both cyclists and non-cyclists. We want people to take their time with this ride, and enjoy themselves! You don’t have to rush, and it’s not about being first”
Robert Simpson, Etape Suisse
Expect a full-on CycleFest of the Edinburgh Fringe variety, with inspirational speakers, comedy and music. And if anyone doesn’t fancy cycling, there’s plenty to do in the way of hikes, events and activities for adults and families.
Rochelle gave the location the professional seal of approval, having ridden there numerous times. “The roads are smooth, there’s not the challenges of traffic, and it’s a very motivating area to ride in – but you do need to be fit!”
Date: 5th to the 8th September, 2014
Location: Davos, Switzerland
Price: from £1200 per rider
More info: Etape Suisse